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Housing statistics quarterly update: June 2021

A summary of activity in new build housing and affordable housing in Scotland.

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4. Private-led new housebuilding

The private sector is the biggest contributor to overall house building, accounting for almost three quarters (72%) of all homes completed in the 12 months to end June 2020.

Chart 5: Annual private sector led new build starts and completions both decreased in the latest year to end June 2020, with activity levels being affected by the introduction of COVID-19 lockdown measures from mid March to late June 2020
Chart 6: Private sector led new housebuilding starts and completions in the quarter Apr-Jun 2020 have both decreased compared to the same quarter in the previous year, with activity levels being affected by the introduction of COVID-19 lockdown measures from mid March to end June 2020

Figures for the year to end June 2020

Between April and June 2020, 690 private sector led homes were completed, a decrease of 85% (3,794 homes) on the same quarter in 2019, with activity levels being affected by the COVID lockdown measures in place between mid March and late June 2020. This brings the total for the year to end June 2020 to 12,298 completions which is a decrease of 23% (3,725 homes) on the 16,023 completions in the previous year.

There were 845 private sector led starts between April to June 2020, a drop of 81% (3,589 homes) than the same quarter in 2019. This brings the total for the year ending June 2020 to 12,814 which is a decrease of 25% (4,221 homes) on the 17,035 starts in the previous year.

Table 2 – Private-led new housebuilding to end June 2020
Private sector homes Starts Completions
Quarter Apr to Jun 2017 4,399 3,787
Quarter Apr to Jun 2018 3,633 4,171
Quarter Apr to Jun 2019 4,434 4,484
Quarter Apr to Jun 2020 845 690
Change from Q2 2019 2019 to Q2 2020 -3,589 -3,794
Change from 2019 to 2020 (%) -81% -85%
Year to end Jun 2017 14,215 13,722
Year to end Jun 2018 12,800 13,415
Year to end Jun 2019 17,035 16,023
Year to end Jun 2020 12,814 12,298
Change from 2019 to 2020 -4,221 -3,725
Change from 2019 to 2020 (%) -25% -23%

Trends since 2007

Chart 5 above shows the annual number of private sector led starts and completions from years to end June between 2007 to 2020. This shows the impact of the recession in the second half of the last decade, with private sector led completions falling throughout 2008 due to the financial crisis. Following this, private led completions decreased more gradually until 2013 and have been broadly increasing in more recent years until completions dropped in 2020 due to the impact of COVID construction lockdown measures in place between mid-March and late June 2020.

In September 2013 the Scottish Government introduced the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme which has aimed to support buyers purchasing a new build home and to stimulate the house building industry. Following this, the Help to Buy (Scotland) Affordable New Build and Help to Buy (Scotland) Smaller Developers schemes were launched on 21 January 2016. Since 5 February 2021, the Scottish Government has no longer been accepting applications to the main Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme, although applications received prior to this date are still being processed. Applications however continue to be accepted for the Help to Buy (Scotland) Smaller Developer scheme. Further information on the Help to Buy schemes, along with monitoring information setting out numbers of sales and the characteristics of buyers, is available on the Help to Buy web pages.

In 2020, the Scottish Government also introduced the First Home Fund. This is a shared equity pilot scheme to provide first-time buyers with up to £25,000 to help them buy a property that meets their needs and is located in the area where they want to live, and which includes the purchase of new build properties as well as existing properties. The FHF scheme closed to new applications on 8th April 2021. Futher information on the First Home Fund is available on the First Home Fund web pages as well as a Quantitative Analysis of the First Home Fund Evaluation, a Qualitative Evaluation of the Scottish Government First Home Fund Shared Equity Scheme and a Summary of findings from the quantitative and qualitative evaluations of the First Home Fund.

Sub-national local authority figures for the year to end June 2020

Map B shows the rates per 10,000 head of population (based on the latest mid-2019 population estimates) of private sector led new build completions in each local authority for the year to end June 2020. It should be noted that the rate of private sector new housebuilding activity recorded across the quarters January to March 2020 and April to June 2020 will have been impacted by the introduction measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) from mid-March to late June.

The highest completion rates in the year to end June have been in East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, Perth & Kinross and Edinburgh. The lowest rates meanwhile, have been in Stirling, Glasgow City, Dumfries & Galloway, Inverclyde and South Ayrshire.

Map B: New build housing - Private Sector completions: rates per 10,000 population, year to end June 2020

Contact

Email: housingstatistics@gov.scot

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