Housing Statistics for Scotland 2019: Key Trends Summary
This publication presents annual statistics up to 31st March 2019 on total new housing supply in Scotland across all sectors, and on stock by tenure estimates up to end March 2018, along with information on various elements of local authority housing in 2018-19 such as stock, lettings, house sales, evictions, housing lists, and housing for older people and people with disabilities.
The statistics are largely based on information collected from local authorities, along with information obtained from the Scottish Government affordable housing supply programme database, and the Scottish Housing Regulator, and are used for a variety of purposes, including monitoring overall housing supply in Scotland.
More detailed background Excel tables are available on the Housing Statistics website. A separate summary of the latest quarterly data on social sector new build and affordable housing is available in the Housing Statistics for Scotland Quarterly Update September 2019. A separate overview of social housing as a whole (i.e. across both housing association and local authority housing) is available in the separate statistical publication Social Tenants in Scotland 2017.
Chart 1: Total supply of new housing in Scotland increased by 15% in 2018-19, but is still 19% below the level seen in 2007-08
Key Findings for 2018-19
Housing Supply (Private and Public Sector)
New housing supply: New housing supply (new build, refurbishment and conversions) increased by 2,953 homes (15%) between 2017-18 and 2018-19, from 19,320 to 22,273 units. Housing association new builds increased by 1,041 homes (33%) and private-led new builds increased by 2,679 homes (21%), whilst local authority new builds decreased by 51 homes (3%), refurbishments decreased by 642 homes (67%) and net conversions decreased by 74 homes (10%).
New house building: In 2018-19, 21,292 new build homes were completed in Scotland, an increase of 3,669 homes (21%) on the 17,623 completions in the previous year, the sixth consecutive annual increase and the highest annual number of completions since 2007-08. During the same time-period the number of homes started increased by 3,160 homes (16%) from 19,604 to 22,764.
Affordable housing: (As previously reported in quarterly statistics published in June 2019): In 2018-19, there were 9,554 units completed through all Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) activity, an increase of 994 units (12%) on the previous year. Approvals decreased by 547 units (5%) in the latest year to 11,130 in 2018-19, and starts increased by 303 units (3%) to reach 10,872. Quarterly affordable housing supply statistics are used to inform the Scottish Government target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes, including 35,000 homes for social rent, over the period 2016/17 to 2020/21, and reflect the number of affordable homes delivered that have received some form of government support through loans, grant or guarantees.
Stock by tenure, to end Mar 2018
Stock by tenure: As at 31st March 2018, there were an estimated 2.6 million dwellings in Scotland, an increase of 1% (20,000 dwellings) compared to 2017. The number of owner occupier households increased by an estimated 3%, and the number of housing association homes increased by 1%, whilst the number of local authority homes showed little change year on year (0%), and the number of dwellings rented privately (including with a job/business or rent-free) decreased by an estimated 6%.
Local Authority Housing, 2018-19
Local authority housing stock: At 31st March 2019, there were 315,625 local authority dwellings in Scotland, an increase of 1,192 units (0.4%) from the previous year and the first annual increase in local authority stock since 1980.
Sales of local authority dwellings (Right to Buy): Sales of public authority dwellings (including local authorities with total stock transfers) fell by 96% in 2018-19, to 76 sales. This decrease follows the Right to Buy scheme closing to all new applicants in July 2016. It is expected that sales will continue to fall further in the next year as the number of applications remaining in the system falls closer to zero.
Vacant stock: Local authorities reported 7,409 units of vacant stock at 31st March 2019, 269 units more than the 7,140 vacant units in the previous year. There were increases in units awaiting demolition (an increase of 141 units), and vacant normal letting stock (an increase of 171 units), with vacant units used as temporary accommodation for the homeless and vacant units in low demand areas showing similar totals to the previous year, and vacant units as part of a modernisation programme falling by 55 units.
Lettings: During 2018-19 there were 26,455 permanent lettings made, an increase of 789 lettings (3%) compared to 25,666 lettings in the previous year. There were 10,952 lets to homeless households in 2018-19, which equates to 41% of all permanent lets by local authorities.
Evictions: Eviction actions against local authority tenants resulted in 1,440 evictions or abandoned dwellings in 2018-19 (1,007 evictions, 433 abandoned dwellings). This is down 1%, or 20 actions of evictions or abandonments, on the 1,460 in the previous year.
Housing lists: Household applications held on local authority or common housing register lists increased by 0.4% or 633 households to 158,439 at March 2019, the first annual increase since 2008, although the latest figure is 22% below the 202,235 applications recorded in 2008.
Local Authority Housing Assistance
Houses in multiple occupation: As at 31st March 2019 there were a total of 15,651 licences in force, of which nearly 9 in 10 are accounted for by just five local authorities – Aberdeen City, Dundee City, City of Edinburgh, Fife and Glasgow City.
Scheme of assistance: There were 8,655 scheme of assistance grants paid to householders in 2018-19, 394 grants (4%) fewer than in 2017-18. Spend on scheme of assistance grants totalled £28.6 million, around £1.1 million less than in 2017-18. The majority of grants in 2018-19 were for disabled adaptions; 5,458 grants totalling £21.8 million.