Housing statistics for Scotland quarterly update: June 2018

Information on recent trends in new build housing starts and completions, the Affordable Housing Supply Programme and local authority house sales including Right to Buy.

Sales of Local Authority Dwellings to Sitting Tenants (Right to Buy)

Most sales of local authority housing to tenants are sales under Right to Buy although a small number cover other sales such as voluntary sales by local authorities to sitting tenants.

In July 2013 the Scottish Government announced that the Right to Buy scheme was to end for all tenants. Immediately following this announcement the number of applications and the number of sales between July and September 2013 both increased (by 39% and 44%, respectively) compared to the previous quarter.

Chart 13: Local Authority Dwellings to Sitting Tenants (Right to Buy)

Chart 13: Local Authority Dwellings to Sitting Tenants (Right to Buy)

The Right to Buy scheme subsequently closed to all new applicants on 31 July 2016, therefore there have been no Right to Buy applications made during the last five quarters (October 2016 to December 2017). Throughout the final year of the scheme (the year to end September 2016), there were 9,060 applications made, more than double the 3,890 applications that were made in the previous year to end September 2015. This increase is likely to have been because this was the last chance for social housing tenants with an entitlement to exercise their Right to Buy before the scheme closed.

It can take a period of time for applications to be processed and for sales to be made, and therefore Right to Buy sales are still being recorded. In the latest available quarter, October to December 2017, there were 266 Right to Buy sales, 67% less than the 801 sales in the same quarter in the previous year, and 55% less than the 587 sales in the previous quarter, July to September 2017.

It is expected that sales will continue to fall further in future quarters as the number of applications remaining in the system falls closer to zero. Given the fall in the number of applications left in the system, we are intending that the quarterly collection and reporting on Right to Buy sales will cease after the publication of sales figures for the next quarterly period January to March 2018, i.e. that the Quarterly Housing Statistics update due to be published in September 2018 will be the final time that Right to Buy figures are reported on. If you have any queries or comments on this please get in touch with us at housingstatistics@gov.scot or 0131 244 7229.


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