5. UK House Price Index (HPI) new build sales transactions, as a measure of private-led housebuilding activity to end April 2021
This section sets out the latest quarterly and monthly trends in the number of new build sales transactions in Scotland to end April 2021, based on residential property transaction figures published as part of the UK House Price Index (HPI).
These figures may be helpful in providing an indication of recent levels of private led new housebuilding activity, particularly given the current delay in the publication of the Scottish Government new housebuilding private-led starts and completions figures.
It should be noted that the HPI-based figures are not directly comparable to the Scottish Government time series on private-led new build starts and completion, due to some differences in how the two sets of figures are constructed. For example, the UK HPI new build sales transaction figures are based on the date of the completed sales transaction rather than the date of completion, and will also not include self-build dwellings or homes built privately for tenures other than private sales.
Further information on the quality of the HPI data for Scotland, which is sourced from Registers of Scotland, is available in the UK HPI Quality Assurance section of the UK House Price Index web page.
Table 3 and Chart 7a below illustrate how the UK HPI figures compare to previously published Scottish Government Private sector-led completion figures in each quarter from January to March 2019 onwards, and also provide the latest trends seen in the UK HPI new build sales transactions figures across the two more recent quarters to January to March 2021.
It can be seen across the period January to March 2019 to July to September 2020 (the latest available quarterly figures for Scottish Government Private led completions) that both data series follow broadly similar trends in respect of increases or decreases compared to the previous quarter. The Scottish Government figures are higher in most quarters, but this is likely to be explained by differences in how the figures are constructed, given that some self-build dwellings or dwellings built privately for tenures other than private sales will be included, whereas the HPI figures are based on private sale transactions only.
|Quarter or year||HPI New Build Sales Transactions Volume||Scottish Government Private-led completions|
|Jan – Mar 2019||2,407||3,458|
|Apr – Jun 2019||3,293||4,532|
|Jul – Sep 2019||2,759||4,051|
|Oct – Dec 2019||3,807||4,716|
|Jan – Mar 2020||2,385||3,038|
|Apr – Jun 2020||717||690|
|Jul – Sep 2020||2,422||3,006|
|Oct – Dec 2020||3,085||Not available|
|Jan – Mar 2021||2,680||Not available|
|Change from previous quarter||-405|
|Change (%) from previous quarter||-13%|
|Change from same quarter in previous year||+295|
|Change (%) from same quarter in previous year||+12%|
|Apr 2019 - Mar 2020||12,244||16,337|
|Apr 2020 - Mar 2021||8,904||Not available|
|Change from previous year||-3,340|
|Change (%) from previous year||-27%|
Sources: UK House Price Index: reports - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) (June 2021 data downloads) and Scottish Government Private Sector-led new build completions
The latest quarterly HPI figures show that there were 2,680 new build sales transactions in Scotland in the quarter January to March 2021, a decrease of 405 (13%) on the 3,085 transactions seen in October to December 2020, but an increase of 258 (11%) on the 2,422 transactions seen in July to September 2020. This follows only 717 transactions being recorded in April to June 2020, a quarter in which housebuilding activity was largely paused due to lockdown measures.
This brings the total transactions in the year to end March 2021 to 8,904, a decrease of 27% (3,340 transactions) on the 12,244 transactions recorded in the year to end March 2020.
More recent HPI figures for the month of April 2021 show a total of 789 transactions for this month (see Chart 7b).