Housing statistics quarterly update: September 2020

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

3. Private-led New Housebuilding

The private sector is the biggest contributor to overall house building, accounting for almost three quarters (74%) of all homes completed in the 12 months to end December 2019.

Chart 5: Annual private sector led new build starts and completions have both increased substantially over the last two years, with starts now higher than level seen in 2008 (years to end December)
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Chart 6: Private-led quarterly new build starts and completions both show increases over the latest two years.
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Figures for the year to end December 2019

Between October and December 2019, 4,550 private sector led homes were completed; 1% more (27 homes) than the same quarter in 2018. This brings the total for the year to end December 2019 to 16,477 which is 9% more (1,380 homes) than the 15,097 completions in the previous year.

There were 3,665 private sector led starts between October and December 2019, 25% less (1,202 homes) than the same quarter in 2018. This brings the total for the year ending December 2019 to 16,661 which is 10% more (1,578 homes) than the 15,083 starts in the previous year.

Table 2 – Private-led new housebuilding to December 2019


Starts Completions
Quarter Oct to Dec 2018 4,867 4,523
Quarter Oct to Dec 2019 3,665 4,550
Change -1,202 +27
Change (%) -25% +1%
Year to Dec 2018 15,083 15,097
Year to Dec 2019 16,661 16,477
Change +1,578 +1,380
Change (%) +10% +9%

Trends since 2007

In 2007 (year to end December) the number of private sector homes started was around 20,000, while completions were almost 22,000. Private sector led new build housing was hit particularly hard by the recession. The number of homes completed dropped steeply between 2007 and 2009 then continued to decrease more gradually to 10,000 homes in 2011. Since then, the number of homes completed has increased each year to almost 16,500 in 2019.

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. Further information on the schemes, along with monitoring information setting out numbers of sales and the characteristics of buyers, is available at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/BuyingSelling/help-to-buy

In 2020, The Scottish Government also launched the First Home Fund. This is a £200 million 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. Futher information on the First Home Fund is available at: https://www.gov.scot/policies/homeowners/first-home-fund/

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

Map B shows the rates per 10,000 head of population (based on the latest mid-2019 population estimates) of private sector led new build completions in each local authority for the year to end December 2019. 

The highest completion rates have been in East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Perth & Kinross, Midlothian and East Lothian. The lowest rates meanwhile, have been in Inverclyde, Stirling, Dumfries & Galloway, Glasgow City and South Ayrshire.

Map B: New build housing - Private Sector completions: rates per 10,000 population, year to end December 2019
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Email: housingstatistics@gov.scot

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