Housing statistics 2017: key trends summary

Annual statistical report, covering up to 31 March 2017, on total new housing supply in Scotland across all sectors.

Key Findings for 2016-17

Housing Supply (Private and Public Sector)

New housing supply: New housing supply (new build, refurbishment and conversions) increased by 571 homes (3%) between 2015-16 and 2016-17, from 17,968 to 18,539 units. Housing association new builds increased by 428 homes (18%) and local authority new builds increased by 5 homes, whilst private-led new builds decreased by 182 homes (1%). Refurbishments (rehabilitations) increased by 142 homes (31%) and conversions increased by 178 homes (26%).

New house building: In 2016-17, 17,078 new build homes were completed in Scotland, an increase of 251 homes (1%) on the 16,827 completions in the previous year, the fourth consecutive annual increase and the highest annual number of completions since 2009-10. During the same time-period the number of homes started rose by 626 homes (4%) from 17,765 to 18,391, the fourth consecutive annual increase and the highest annual number of starts since 2008-09.

Affordable housing: (As previously reported on 13 June): In 2016-17, there were 7,336 units completed through all Affordable Housing Supply Programme ( AHSP) activity, an increase of 818 units (13%) on the previous year. Approvals increased by 2,331 units (29%) in the latest year to reach 10,276 in 2016-17, and starts increased by 1,626 units (21%) to reach 9,308. This activity represents the first year in the target period to build 50,000 affordable homes, including 30,000 for social rent, over 5 years.

Local Authority Housing

Local authority housing stock: At 31 st March 2017, there were 314,816 local authority dwellings in Scotland, a decrease of 1,737 units (1%) from the previous year.

Sales of local authority dwellings: Sales of public authority dwellings (including local authorities with total stock transfers) rose by 68% in 2016-17, to 3,510. This is the fourth consecutive annual increase after years of declining numbers of sales. The increases are likely to be due to the announcement in 2013 that right to buy was to be ended for all tenants, following which the scheme closed to all new applicants in July 2016.

Vacant stock: Local authorities reported 6,164 units of vacant stock at 31 st March 2017, slightly lower than the 6,181 vacant units in the previous year. Around a third (38%) of the vacant stock at end March 2017 was normal letting stock, which equates to 1% of normal letting stock that was vacant.

Lettings: During 2016-17 there were 25,788 permanent lettings made, a decrease of 2% compared to 26,258 lettings in the previous year. There were 10,436 lets to homeless households in 2016-17, which equates to 40% of all permanent lets by local authorities.

Evictions: Eviction actions against local authority tenants resulted in 1,421 evictions or abandoned dwellings in 2016-17 (927 evictions, 494 abandoned dwellings). This is up by 9%, or 121 actions of evictions or abandonments, on the 1,300 in the previous year.

Housing lists: Household applications held on local authority or common housing register lists decreased by 3% or 4,970 households to 162,152 at March 2017, the ninth consecutive annual decrease.

Local Authority Housing Assistance and Licensing

Scheme of assistance: There were 10,483 scheme of assistance grants paid to householders in 2016-17, 270 grants (3%) fewer than in 2015-16. Spend on scheme of assistance grants totalled £31.8 million, which is similar to 2015-16. The majority of grants in 2016-17 were for disabled adaptions, 5,967 grants totalling £22.8 million.

Houses in multiple occupation: In 2016-17, 9,668 applications were received in respect of the mandatory licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (including new applications and applications for renewal). At 31 st March 2017 there were 15,289 licences in force, representing a decrease of 2% over the previous year.


Email: Esther Laird, esther.laird@gov.scot

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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