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 September 2020.
Chart 5 shows the annual number of private sector led starts and completions from 2007 to 2020 (years to end September). 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 2012, and have been broadly increasing in more recent years until dropping by 31% in the year to end September 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 construction lockdown measures in place between mid-March and late June 2020.
Figures for the year to end September 2020
Chart 6 below shows that between July and September 2020, 3,006 private sector led homes were completed, an increase of 2,316 homes on the previous quarter April to June 2020 (during which housebuilding activity was largely paused due to lockdown measures), but 26% (1,045 homes) fewer than in the same quarter in the previous year, July to September 2019. This brings the total for the year to end September 2020 to 11,450 completions, a decrease of 31% (5,133 homes) on the 16,583 completions in the previous year.
There were 3,394 private sector led starts between July and September 2020, an increase of 2,546 homes on the previous quarter April to June 2020, but 27% (1,251 homes) fewer than in the same quarter in 2019. This brings the total for the year ending September 2020 to 12,024, a decrease of 33% (6,055 homes) on the 18,079 starts in the previous year.
|Private sector homes||Starts||Completions|
|Quarter Jul to Sep 2017||3,080||3,217|
|Quarter Jul to Sep 2018||3,701||3,593|
|Quarter Jul to Sep 2019||4,645||4,051|
|Quarter Jul to Sep 2020||3,394||3,006|
|Change from Q3 2019 2019 to Q3 2020||-1,251||-1,045|
|Change from 2019 to 2020 (%)||-27%||-26%|
|Year to end Sep 2017||13,606||14,127|
|Year to end Sep 2018||13,719||13,811|
|Year to end Sep 2019||18,079||16,583|
|Year to end Sep 2020||12,024||11,450|
|Change from 2019 to 2020||-6,055||-5,133|
|Change from 2019 to 2020 (%)||-33%||-31%|
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. Further 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 September 2020
Map B shows the rates per 10,000 head of population (based on the latest mid-2020 population estimates) of private sector led new build completions in each local authority for the year to end September 2020. It should be noted that the rate of private sector new housebuilding activity recorded will have been impacted by the introduction measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) from mid-March to late June 2020.
The highest completion rates in the year to end September 2020 have been in East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian and Perth & Kinross, Highland and Edinburgh. The lowest rates meanwhile, have been in Stirling, Glasgow City, Dumfries & Galloway, Inverclyde and South Ayrshire.
Note that the private sector completion rates calculations contain some estimated figures. Estimated figures have been used for private sector completions for East Dunbartonshire Council for the period January to September 2020, Angus Council for the period April to September 2020, and South Lanarkshire Council for the quarter July to September 2020.