Publication - Statistics

Housing statistics - quarterly update: March 2020

Published: 10 Mar 2020

Trends in new build housing starts and completions by sector, and the Affordable Housing Supply Programme.

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25 page PDF

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Contents
Housing statistics - quarterly update: March 2020
2. All-Sector New Housebuilding

25 page PDF

2.0 MB

2. All-Sector New Housebuilding

The new-housebuilding section of this document provides figures on the number of homes started (when the foundations are begun) and completed (when a building inspector deems the property complete).

Figures are presented for homes built on privately led (referred to throughout as private sector), local authority led (referred to as local authority sector) and housing association led (referred to as housing association sector) sites. Social sector housebuilding is the combined total of local authority and housing association builds.

For the private sector the latest information available is for the quarter ending September 2019. Therefore headline findings for new housebuilding across all sectors are presented up to end September 2019, with other figures on social sector housebuilding presented up to end December 2019 where more recent data allows.

The figures have not been seasonally adjusted and so commentary tends to compare the latest 12 month period with the previous 12 month period, or the latest quarter with the same quarter in the previous year. To help with this, Quarter 3 figures (from July to September) have been highlighted in the charts to allow easy comparison over time. Some of the peaks in the number of starts in Quarter 1 each year are due to large numbers of housing association approvals being granted near the end of the financial year.

Chart 1 (see page 1) shows that annual all-sector new build starts and completions (years to end September) have both shown a broadly increasing trend since 2013, with starts increasing since 2011. In the latest year, starts and completions have increased substantially by 24% and 16% respectively, with the number of starts now above levels last seen in 2008.

Figures for the year to end September 2019

There were 5,316 all sector new build homes completed between July and September 2019; an 8% increase (394 homes) on the same quarter in 2018. This brings the total for the year to end September 2019 to 21,805, up 16% (2,972 homes) compared to the 18,833 completed in the previous year.

There were 5,965 new build homes started between July and September 2019, 28% more (1,306 homes) than the same quarter in 2018. This brings the total for the year to end September 2019 to 24,873 which is up 24% (4,876 homes) compared to the 19,997 homes started in the previous year.

Table 1 – All sector new housebuilding to September 2019

  Starts Completions
Quarter Jul to Sep 2018 4,659 4,922
Quarter Jul to Sep 2019 5,965 5,316
Change +1,306 +394
Change (%) +28% +8%
Year to Sep 2018 19,997 18,833
Year to Sep 2019 24,873 21,805
Change +4,876 +2,972
Change (%) +24% +16%

Trends since 2007

Chart 2 below presents new build completion trends on a quarterly basis and by sector. 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. Although total completions have since shown a marked increase over the last six quarters.

Chart 2: Quarterly new build completions show a marked increase overall over the latest six quarters, although as with earlier time periods, figures for individual quarters can show some volatility over time.

Chart 2: Quarterly new build completions show a marked increase overall over the latest six quarters, although as with earlier time periods, figures for individual quarters can show some volatility over time.

Chart 3 shows quarterly trends in all-sector starts and completions, which are generally showing an upwards trend since 2013.

Chart 3: Quarterly new build starts (since 2011) and completions (since 2013) across all sectors show a generally upward trend, but with some quarterly volatility evident, particularly for starts

Chart 3: Quarterly new build starts (since 2011) and completions (since 2013) across all sectors show a generally upward trend, but with some quarterly volatility evident, particularly for starts

Sub-national local authority figures for the year to end September 2019

The information on new build housing in Scotland is collected and published at local authority level. Map A, below, shows new house building in the year to end September 2019, as a rate per 10,000 population based on the latest mid-2018 population estimates.

In the year to end September 2019 the highest new build rates were observed in Midlothian, East Lothian, Perth & Kinross, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian, Edinburgh, Renfrewshire and Highland. The lowest rates were observed in Dumfries & Galloway, Inverclyde, Stirling, East Dunbartonshire and Shetland Islands.

Map A: New build housing - All sector completions: rates per 10,000 population, year to end September 2019

Map A: New build housing - All sector completions: 
rates per 10,000 population, year to end September 2019

Comparison with the rest of the UK from 2007 to 2019

Each of the countries of the UK produces their own statistics on quarterly new build housing starts and completions by tenure, and all use broadly consistent definitions. These new build statistics for each of the countries of the UK can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/housing/articles/ukhousebuildingdata/julytoseptember2019.

In addition to this, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) also produces an additional annual set of statistics for England on new build homes, as a component part of the 'Housing supply; net additional dwellings, England' set of statistics[1]. These statistics are collected on a different basis to the quarterly UK country statistics as local authorities can use a range of data sources to collate these figures, rather than solely using building control information. Figures on this for 2018/19 were published on 03 October 2019, and the publication advised that the 'net additional dwellings' should be considered the primary and most comprehensive measure of housing supply in England.

MHCLG have advised that the quarterly new build statistical collection for England, whilst being a useful leading indicator of activity throughout the year, is not currently capturing all new build activity. This is largely due to difficulties in collecting accurate starts and completions data from independent building inspectors or where building control has been sourced out to strategic partnerships or the private sector. These data issues do not exist in the Scotland quarterly housing statistics, given that all of the 32 local authorities in Scotland directly manage building control and the associated provision of data to the Scottish Government on starts and completions.

As a result of this advice from MHCLG, the new build component figures of the 'net additional dwellings' statistics for England are included in the UK comparisons as an additional set of figures to consider when comparing between countries.

Chart 4 presents trends in the rates of new house building per 10,000 population across each of the UK countries. The latest available Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) annual 'net additional dwelling' statistics for England indicate that whilst Scotland had a higher rate of completions per 10,000 head of population than England over the period 2007 to 2016, the rate in Scotland was the same as in England during both 2017 and 2018.However in the latest year Scotland has had a slightly higher rate of completions per 10,000 (40 in Scotland, compared to 38 in England).

In the latest year, the 40 homes built per 10,000 population in Scotland is similar to the rate seen in Northern Ireland (40 homes per 10,000), and higher than the rates seen in the England net additions statistics (38 home per 10,000 on a financial year basis), and in Wales (19 homes per 10,000). Note that the 'net additional dwellings' for England are on a financial year basis, i.e. the year to end March, and therefore cover a slightly different time period as the other figures presented (to end September).

Chart 4: New house building as a rate per 10,000 population (years to end September) - Scotland had a rate of 40 in the latest year, the same as Northern Ireland (40) and higher than England net additions statistics (financial years) (38) and Wales (19)

Chart 4: New house building as a rate per 10,000 population (years to end September) - Scotland had a rate of 40 in the latest year, the same as Northern Ireland (40) and higher than England net additions statistics (financial years) (38) and Wales (19)


Contact

Email: Housing_Statistics_Inbox@gov.scot