Housing statistics quarterly update: December 2021

A summary of activity in new build housing, affordable housing and long term empty properties and second homes in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection


1. Main points

Note that the latest private-led and all-sector new housebuilding figures contain some estimates for a small number of authorities. Further details are provided in Section 2.

  • There were 14,834 all-sector new build homes completed in Scotland in the year to end December 2020, a decrease of 35% (7,839 homes) on the previous year, with activity levels affected by COVID-19 lockdown measures from mid-March to late June 2020. Decreases were seen across private-led completions (37% or 6,130 homes), housing association completions (32% or 1,389 homes) and local authority completions (20% or 320 homes).
  • The number of new build homes started across all sectors also decreased in the year to end December 2020, with a total of 17,883 starts, a decrease of 27% (6,680 homes) on the previous year. Private-led starts dropped by 32% (5,596 homes), local authority starts dropped by 41% (860 homes) and housing association approvals dropped by 5% (224 homes).
  • More up-to-date figures published as part of the UK House Price Index show that private new build sales transactions across the more recent months January to July 2021 have been broadly in line with monthly volumes seen in the pre-pandemic year 2019. The 11,346 transactions in the 12 months to end July 2021 is an increase of 18% (1,746 transactions) on the 9,600 transactions recorded in the previous year to end July 2020.
  • Latest social sector new housebuilding figures to end March 2021 show that 1,513 social sector homes were completed in the quarter January to March 2021. This is an increase of 19% (246 homes) on the previous quarter October to December 2020, but a decrease of 22% (415 homes) on the 1,928 social sector completions in the previous year January to March 2020. This brings total completions for the 12 months to end March 2021 to 3,785, a decrease of 33% (1,887 homes) on the 5,672 social sector homes completed in the previous year, with activity levels affected by COVID-19 lockdown measures from mid-March to late June 2020.
  • Affordable Housing Supply Programme statistics reflect the broader supply of affordable homes for social rent, affordable rent and affordable home ownership, and include off the shelf purchases and rehabilitations as well as new builds.
  • A total of 2,094 affordable homes were completed in the latest quarter July to September 2021, bringing the total number of affordable homes completed in the 12 months to end September 2021 to 8,792. This is an increase of 20% (1,464 homes) on the 7,328 affordable homes completed in the previous year, with increases in the number of completions for social rent (by 15% or 802 homes), affordable rent (by 46% or 377 homes) and affordable home ownership (by 29% or 285 homes).
  • A total of 1,641 affordable homes were approved in July to September 2021, bringing the total number of homes approved in the 12 months to end September 2021 to 8,581, a decrease of 23% (2,626 homes) on the 11,207 homes approved in the previous year, with decreases in the number of approvals for social rent (by 28% or 2,545 homes), affordable rent (by 13% or 153 homes) but an increase affordable home ownership (by 7% or 72 homes).
  • Over the same period, a total of 1,134 affordable homes were started in July to September 2021, bringing the total number of homes started in the 12 months to end September 2021 to 10,023. This is a decrease of 3% (351 homes) on the 10,374 homes started in the previous year, with decreases in the number of starts for social rent (by 8% or 631 homes) and affordable rent (by 5% or 77 homes), but an increase in the number of starts for affordable home ownership (by 40% or 357 homes).
  • Separate annual statistics on long-term empty properties and second homes show that as at September 2021, the number of long-term empty properties has decreased by 8% (3,567 properties) from 47,333 in 2020 to 43,766 in 2021. This decrease follows on from the previous 16% (6,370 homes) annual increase in the number of long-term empty properties from 2019 to 2020, which was associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The number of second homes in the latest year (23,890) is at a broadly similar level to the previous year 2020 (24,466 homes), having decreased slightly by only 2% (576 dwellings).

Contact

Email: Housing_Statistics_Inbox@gov.scot

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