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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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6. Social sector new housebuilding

Note in this section that housing association new build approvals are used as a proxy for housing association new build starts due to data quality considerations. This is an approach consistent with that taken in previous publications.

Social sector housing consists of local authority and housing association housing, and has accounted for 28% of all new build homes completed over the 12 months to end June 2020.

Social sector figures are collected a quarter ahead of those for the private sector meaning that figures are available up to the end of September 2020. However to enable easier understanding of how each sector contributes to the all sector totals described previously, some figures are also presented to end June 2020.

Chart 8a shows the number of local authority and housing association homes started and completed each year to end June since 2007, whilst Chart 8b shows the same information but up to end September 2020 (the most recent information available). Charts 9 and 10 show quarterly figures for housing associations and local authorities, respectively.

Chart 8a: Latest annual social sector starts and completions to end June show a drop in the number of local authority starts and completions and housing association completions in the latest year, but an increase in housing association approvals
Chart 8b: Latest annual social sector starts and completions to end Sept show a drop in the number of local authority starts and completions and housing association completions in the latest year, but an increase in housing association approvals
Chart 9: Housing Association new housebuilding approvals and completions in the latest quarter Jul-Sep 2020 have both increased compared to Apr-Jun 2020, following the easing of lockdown restrictions
Chart 10: Local authority new housebuilding starts and completions in the quarter Jul-Sep 2020 have both increased compared to Apr-Jun 2020, following the easing of lockdown restrictions

Figures for the year to end June 2020

There were 34 social sector completions between April and June 2020; a decrease of 97% (941 homes) than the same quarter in 2019, and which reflects the lockdown measures in place from mid-March to late June 2020. This brings the total for the year to end June 2020 to 4,731, a decrease of 13% on the 5,445 social sector completions in the previous year.

Meanwhile, 417 social sector homes were started between April and June 2020; a decrease of 66% (803 homes) on the same quarter in 2019. This brings the total for the year to end June 2020 to 7,434, which is a 16% increase (1,027 homes) on the 6,407 social sector starts in the previous year.

Table 4 – Social sector new housebuilding to end June 2020
Social sector homes Total Social starts Total Social completions Local authority starts Local authority completions Housing association approvals Housing association completions
Apr to Jun 2017 566 874 119 357 447 517
Apr to Jun 2018 1,086 1,008 523 408 563 600
Apr to Jun 2019 1,220 975 513 446 707 529
Apr to Jun 2020 417 34 13 34 404 0
Change -803 -941 -500 -412 -303 -529
Change (%) -66% -97% -97% -92% -43% -100%
Year to Jun-17 6,114 3,689 1,073 1,164 5,041 2,525
Year to Jun-18 6,532 4,674 1,706 1,421 4,826 3,253
Year to Jun-19 6,407 5,445 1,823 1,430 4,584 4,015
Year to Jun-20 7,434 4,731 1,661 1,056 5,773 3,675
Change +1,027 -714 -162 -374 +1,189 -340
Change (%) +16% -13% -9% -26% +26% -8%

Trends from 2007

Social sector house building has not followed the same pattern as the private sector over time as the number of homes being built did not suddenly drop in 2008 following the recession.

Between 2008 and 2009 (years to end June) the number of housing association completions increased from 3,800 to just over 5,400, after which the number of homes completed remained at similar levels until 2011. Completions then decreased in each year to reach just over 2,600 in 2015. After fluctuating for the two years after, housing association completions increased to just over 4,000 in 2019 before decreasing to 3,700 in 2020.

The number of housing association approvals fell from just over 6,000 in 2008 to just over 2,000 homes in 2013 (years to end June). The figure then increased in each year to reach just over 5,000 in 2017. This was followed by decrease in the following two years to just over 4,500 homes in 2019. In the latest year to June 2020, the number of housing association approvals then increased by nearly 1,200 to just under 5,800, despite the effects of the lockdown period in mid-March to late June.

The number of local authority homes built has gradually increased from just 26 homes in 2008 up to just over 1,200 in 2012 (years to end June). Completions were then broadly flat until 2018 where they reached nearly 1,400 homes. Similar levels were seen in 2019, after which the number of local authority homes completed then decreased to just over 1,000 in 2020.

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

Maps C and D show the rates of housing association and local authority new build completions in each local authority for the year to end June 2020 per 10,000 of the population (based on the latest mid-2019 population estimates). The housing stock of 6 local authorities (Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Na h-Eileanan Siar and Scottish Borders) has been transferred to housing associations and so these areas do not build new local authority houses.

It should be noted that the rates of social 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.

In the year to end June 2020 local authority new build rates were highest in East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, West Lothian and Fife. As well as the 6 stock transfer authorities mentioned above, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee City, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and West Dunbartonshire built no new local authority homes in the year ending June 2020.

Meanwhile rates of housing association new build completions were highest in Na h-Eileanan Siar, Glasgow, Clackmannanshire, Perth & Kinross and Shetland Islands, whilst the lowest rates of housing association new build were in East Renfrewshire, Falkirk, Midlothian and Stirling.

Map C: New build housing - Local Authority Sector completions: rates per 10,000 population, year to end June 2020
Map D: New build housing - Housing Association Sector completions: rates per 10,000 population, year to end June 2020

Latest figures to end September 2020

A total of 971 social sector homes were completed between July to September 2020, an increase of 937 homes on the April to June 2020 period when lockdown measures were in place, but a decrease of 25% (329 homes) on the 1,300 completions in the same quarter in 2019. This brings the total completions for the 12 months to end September 2020 to 4,402, a decrease of 18% (999 homes) on the 5,401 social sector homes completed in the previous year.

Meanwhile, 753 social sector homes were started between July and September 2020. This is an increase of 81% (336 homes) on the April to June 2020 period, but is down 42% (546 homes) compared to the same quarter in the previous year. This brings the total for the 12 months to end September 2020 to 6,888 which is at a similar level (an increase of 0.1% or 8 homes) on the 6,880 starts in 2019.

Table 5 – Social sector new housebuilding to end September 2020
Social sector homes Total Social starts Total Social completions Local authority starts Local authority completions Housing association approvals Housing association completions
Jul to Sep-17 862 1,048 382 363 480 685
Jul to Sep-18 826 1,344 358 326 468 1,018
Jul to Sep-19 1,299 1,300 553 392 746 908
Jul to Sep-20 753 971 269 424 484 547
Change -546 -329 -284 32 -262 -361
Change (%) -42% -25% -51% 8% -35% -40%
Year to Sep-17 5,656 3,848 952 1,322 4,704 2,526
Year to Sep-18 6,496 4,970 1,682 1,384 4,814 3,586
Year to Sep-19 6,880 5,401 2,018 1,496 4,862 3,905
Year to Sep-20 6,888 4,402 1,377 1,088 5,511 3,314
Change +8 -999 -641 -408 +649 -591
Change (%) 0.1% -18% -32% -27% +13% -15%

Contact

Email: housingstatistics@gov.scot

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