Housing statistics quarterly update: March 2021

A summary of activity in new build housing and affordable housing 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 21,910 new build homes completed across all sectors in Scotland in the year to end March 2020. This is an increase of 3% (722 homes) on the previous year, despite activity levels being affected by the introduction of COVID-19 lockdown measures in the final month of the latest annual period. Increases were seen across private-led completions (3% or 528 homes), housing association completions (3% or 118 homes) and local authority completions (5% or 76 homes).
  • The number of new build homes started across all sectors also increased in the year to end March 2020, with a total of 24,458 starts, an increase of 9% (1,954 homes) on the previous year. Local authority starts increased by 18% (328 homes), housing association approvals increased by 37% (1,636 homes), whilst private-led starts dropped very slightly by 0.1% (10 homes).
  • More recent figures published as part of the UK House Price Index show a total of 1,114 new build sales transactions in Scotland in the month of October 2020. This is an increase of 47 transactions (4%) on October 2019, indicating a recovery in the level of monthly private-led new housebuilding sales transaction activity, following the reduced levels of activity between April and June 2020 due to COVID-19 measures.
  • Latest social sector new housebuilding figures for April to June 2020 show the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on construction activity across this period, with only 407 starts and 20 completions recorded, drops of 67% and 98% on the same quarter in 2019, respectively.
  • Affordable Housing Supply Programme statistics reflect the broader supply of affordable homes (i.e. for social rent, affordable rent and affordable home ownership) and include off the shelf purchases and rehabilitations as well as new builds. The 1,918 affordable homes completed in the latest quarter Oct-Dec 2020 is an increase of 861 (81%) homes on the previous quarter, and an increase of 1,721 homes on Apr-Jun 2020. These increases over the latest two quarters reflect the phased re-start of construction and supply activity since late June 2020, which brings the level of quarterly completions above levels seen in 2016 and 2017, but below levels in 2018 and 2019.
  • The number of affordable homes approved and started have also increased over the latest two quarters, with approvals in Oct-Dec 2020 being over double (1,062 homes more) the amount in the previous quarter and 1,205 homes more than in Apr-Jun 2020. Starts in Oct-Dec 2020 are up by 11% (221 homes) on the previous quarter Jul-Sept 2020, and by 1,429 homes on Apr-Jun 2020.
  • The latest annual figures on affordable housing supply also show the impact of COVID-19 on activity levels, with a total of 10,066 approvals, 9,806 starts and 6,655 completions recorded in the year to December 2020. These are decreases on the previous year of 15% (1,764 homes), 11% (1,166 homes), and 30% (2,846 homes), respectively.


Email: housingstatistics@gov.scot

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