2. Delays to new housebuilding statistics due to COVID-19, and estimates made for a small number of authorities
The Housing Statistics for Scotland Quarterly Update as at September would usually include an update on private-led and all-sector new house building starts and completions to end March, with more recent figures on social sector new builds to end June. However due to COVID-19 related delays in new build data provision over the last year, this publication includes figures on private-led and all-sector new house building starts and completions only up to end September 2020, with more recent figures on social sector new builds only up to end December 2020.
Given these delays in the reporting of new housebuilding trends, separate figures from the UK House Price Index on new build sales transactions are provided in Section 5 as an alternative measure of private-led new housebuilding activity in Scotland over the more recent period to end April 2021.
In addition to these delays in provision of data, East Dunbartonshire Council have been unable so far to provide private-led new build data for the three quarters 2020 Q1 to 2020 Q3, and so these figures have been estimated, although previously estimated starts and completions figures for 2019 Q4 have now been replaced with returned figures. Glasgow City Council have been unable so far to provide private-led new build starts data for the four quarters from 2019 Q4 to 2020 Q3 and so these figures have also been estimated. However we are working with Glasgow to obtain these figures and aim to replace these estimates with actual figures in future publications. In addition, estimates have been made for private-led new build starts and completions figures for Angus Council for the most recent two quarters 2020 Q2 and 2020 Q3, as well as South Lanarkshire Council for the most recent quarter 2020 Q3, due to a delay in provision of this data.
As with previous publications, the estimates of private-led new build activity are each based on an average of the preceding four quarters, with an adjustment made to account for the lower levels of construction activity seen in particular quarters due to the impact of COVID-19, which is based on the aggregate trends from the local authorities who have provided data across the COVID-19 period.
An additional estimate has been made for local authority new housebuilding starts and completions for Highland for 2020 Q4, due to a delay in the return. As with previous estimates for local authority new housebuilding figures, this estimate is based on separate starts and completions figures taken from the Scottish Government Housing and Regeneration Programme (HARP) system.
A number of additional historic corrections provided by local authorities have also been made, with further details available in the Excel tables.