Housing Statistics For Scotland Quarterly Update (Published 14th June 2022)

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

3. Private-led new housebuilding

The private sector is the biggest contributor to overall house building, accounting for almost three quarters (71%) of all homes completed in the 12 months to end September 2021.

Chart 5 shows the annual number of private sector led starts and completions from 2007 to 2021 (years to end September). This shows the impact of the recession in the second half of the last decade, with private sector led starts falling substantially in the 12 months to end September 2009 due to the financial crisis.

Private led completions also fell sharply in the 12 months to end September 2009, then continued to decline more gradually until 2012, after which they 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 March and June 2020. Since then, completions have increased by 25% and starts by 37% to the year ending September 2021.

Chart 5: Annual private sector led new build starts and completions have both increased in the latest year to end September 2021, with activity levels picking up following the COVID-19 lockdown measures in place in the previous year.

Chart 6 below presents the latest quarterly trends. In July to September 2021 there were 3,264 private sector led homes completed, an increase of 9% (266 homes) on the same quarter in 2020, but a decrease of 19% (788 homes) on the same quarter in 2019. This brings the total for the year ending September 2021 to 14,334, an increase of 25% (2,894 homes) on the 11,440 completions in the previous year.

There were 2,989 private sector led homes started in July to September 2021, a decrease of 14% (481 homes) on the same quarter in 2020, and a fall of 36% (1,665 homes) on the same quarter in 2019. This brings the total for the year to end September 2021 to 16,719 starts, an increase of 37% (4,478 homes) on the 12,241 starts in the previous year.

Chart 6: Private sector led new housebuilding completions in July to September 2021 are higher than the same quarter in the previous year, although starts are lower.

Table 2: Private-led new housebuilding to end September 2021

Private sector homes



Quarter Jul to Sep 2018



Quarter Jul to Sep 2019



Quarter Jul to Sep 2020



Quarter Jul to Sep 2021



Change from Q3 2020 to Q3 2021



Change from 2020 to 2021 (%)



Year to end September 2018



Year to end September 2019



Year to end September 2020



Year to end September 2021



Change from 2020 to 2021



Change from 2020 to 2021 (%)



Map B below shows that the highest private sector led completion rates in the year to end September 2021 have been in the local authority areas of Midlothian, East Lothian, and Perth & Kinross which have seen rates of over 49 homes per 10,000 households.

The lowest rates meanwhile, have been in Glasgow City, Dumfries & Galloway, Scottish Borders, East Dunbartonshire, Stirling, Angus, Inverclyde, West Dunbartonshire, South Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, and Argyll and Bute, which have all seen rates of up to 17 homes per 10,000 households.

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 and South Ayrshire council from October to December 2020, Glasgow City Council from January to March 2021, and North Ayrshire for April to June 2021.

Map B: New build housing - Private Sector completions: rates per 10,000 population, year to end September 2021



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