Publication - Statistics

Housing statistics quarterly update: March 2021

Published: 23 Mar 2021

A summary of activity in new build housing and affordable housing in Scotland.

34 page PDF

2.4 MB

34 page PDF

2.4 MB

Contents
Housing statistics quarterly update: March 2021
6. Social sector new housebuilding

34 page PDF

2.4 MB

6. Social sector new housebuilding

Note in this section that housing association new build approvals are used as a proxy for housing association new build starts due to data quality considerations. This is an approach consistent with that taken in previous publications.

Social sector housing consists of local authority and housing association housing, and has accounted for 26% of all new build homes completed over the 12 months to end March 2020.

Social sector figures are collected a quarter ahead of those for the private sector meaning that figures are available up to the end of June 2020. However to enable easier understanding of how each sector contributes to the all sector totals described previously, some figures are also presented to end March 2020.

Chart 8a: Annual Housing Association starts and completions have been at higher levels than Local Authority starts and completions in each year since 2008,with increases seen in all starts and completions in the latest year (years to end March)
Annual Housing Association and Local Authority new build starts and completions in the years to end March from 2008 to 2020

Chart 8a shows the number of local authority and housing association homes started and completed each year to end March since 2007, whilst Chart 8b shows the same information but up to end June 2020 (the most recent information available). Charts 9 and 10 show quarterly figures for housing associations and local authorities, respectively.

Chart 8b: Housing association and local authority new build starts and completions figures for years to end June show a broadly similar trend over time to the figures to end March, although figures for the most recent year will have been affected to a greater degree
Annual Housing Association and Local Authority new build starts and completions in the years to end June from 2008 to 2020
Chart 9: Quarterly Housing Association new build approvals and completions show some quarterly volatility, with April to June 2020 seeing substantially lower numbers of completions than previous quarters due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions
Quarterly housing association new build approvals and completions from 2007 to 2020
Chart 10: Quarterly Local Authority new build starts and completions show some quarterly volatility, with April to June 2020 seeing substantally lower numbers than previous quarters due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions from mid-March untill late-June 2020
Quarterly local authority new build starts and completions from 2007 to 2020

Figures for the year to end March 2020

There were 1,928 social sector completions between January to March 2020; 11% less (237 homes) than the same quarter in 2019 but 14% (242 homes) more than in 2018. This brings the total for the year to end March 2020 to 5,672, an increase of 4% on the 5,478 social sector completions in the previous year, and 25% higher than the total social sector completions in 2018.

Meanwhile, 3,865 social sector homes were started between January and March 2020; 43% more (1,171 homes) than the same quarter in 2019. This brings the total for the year to end March 2020 to 8,237. This is a 31% increase (1,964 homes) on the 6,273 social sector starts in the previous year.

Table 5: Social sector new housebuilding to March 2020
Total Social starts Total Social completions Local authority starts Local authority completions Housing association approvals Housing association completions
Jan to Mar 2018 3,371 1,686 298 262 3,073 1,424
Jan to Mar 2019 2,694 2,165 518 425 2,176 1,740
Jan to Mar 2020 3,865 1,928 567 289 3,298 1,639
Change +1,171 -237 +49 -136 +1,122 -101
Change (%) +43% -11% +9% -32% +52% -6%
Year to Mar-18 6,012 4,540 1,302 1,370 4,710 3,170
Year to Mar-19 6,273 5,478 1,833 1,392 4,440 4,086
Year to Mar-20 8,237 5,672 2,161 1,468 6,076 4,204
Change +1,964 +194 +328 +76 +1,636 +118
Change (%) +31% +4% +18% +5% +37% +3%

Trends from 2007

Social sector house building has not followed the same pattern as the private sector over time as the number of homes being built did not suddenly drop in 2008 following the recession.

Between 2008 and 2010 (years to end March) the number of housing association completions increased from just over 4,000 to just over 5,500. Completions then decreased in each year to reach just over 2,900 in 2014. After fluctuating for the two years after, housing association completions fell to 2,300 in 2016 before increasing each year to reach just over 4,200 in 2020.

The number of housing association approvals fell from just over 5,700 in 2008 to just over 1,600 homes in 2013 (years to end March). The figures then fluctuated for three years after this, before reaching nearly 3,000 in 2016. The number of approvals then increased by over 2,000 homes to reach nearly 5,000 in 2017 before falling again in the following two years to just over 4,400 homes in 2019. In the latest year to March 2020, the number of housing association approvals then increased by over 1,500 to just over 6,000.

The number of local authority homes built has gradually increased from just 28 homes in 2008 up to just over 1,100 in 2012 (years to end March). Completions were then broadly flat until 2018 where they reached nearly 1,400 homes. Similar levels were seen in 2019 and the number of local authority homes completed then increased slightly to just under 1,500 in 2020.

Sub-national local authority figures for the year to end March 2020

Maps C and D show the rates of housing association and local authority new build completions in each local authority for the year to end March 2020 per 10,000 of the population (based on the latest mid-2019 population estimates). The housing stock of 6 local authorities (Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Na h-Eileanan Siar and Scottish Borders) has been transferred to housing associations and so these areas do not build new local authority houses.

In the year to end March 2020 rates of housing association new build completions were highest in Na h-Eileanan Siar, Glasgow, Perth & Kinross and Clackmannanshire, whilst the lowest rates of housing association new build were in East Renfrewshire, Falkirk, Midlothian and Stirling.

Meanwhile local authority new build rates were highest in West Lothian, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and Fife. As well as the 6 stock transfer authorities mentioned above, Angus, Clackmannanshire, Dundee City, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and West Dunbartonshire built no new local authority homes in the year ending March 2020.

Map C: New build housing - Local Authority Sector completions: rates per 10,000 population, year to end March 2020
Local Authority new housebuilding completion rates, per 10,000 population in the year to end March 2020
Map D: New build housing - Housing Association Sector completions: rates per 10,000 population, year to end March 2020
Housing Association new housebuilding completion rates, per 10,000 population in the year to end March 2020

Latest figures to end June 2020

It should be noted that the amount of new housebuilding activity recorded in the quarters January to March 2020 and April to June 2020 has been impacted by the introduction of measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) from mid-March 2020 onwards, in which non-essential construction activity stopped, and home buyers were advised to delay moving to a new home where possible, until the lockdown restrictions began to ease towards the end of June 2020. This has also impacted figures for the year to June 2020.

A total of 20 social sector homes were completed between April to June 2020, 98% less (955 homes) than the 975 completions in the same quarter in 2019. This brings the total completions for the 12 months to end June 2020 to 4,717, a 13% decrease (728 homes) on the 5,445 social sector homes completed in the previous year.

Meanwhile, 407 social sector homes were started between April to June 2020. This is down 67% (813 homes) compared to the same quarter in the previous year. This brings the total for the 12 months to end June 2020 to 7,424 which is a 16% increase (1,017 homes) on the 6,407 starts in 2019, and 14% more than in 2018.

Table 6: Social sector new housebuilding to June 2020
Total Social starts Total Social completions Local authority starts Local authority completions Housing association approvals Housing association completions
Apr to Jun-18 1,086 1,008 523 408 563 600
Apr to Jun-19 1,220 975 513 446 707 529
Apr to Jun-20 407 20 0 20 407 0
Change -813 -955 -513 -426 -300 -529
Change (%) -67% -98% -100% -96% -42% -100%
Year to Jun-18 6,532 4,674 1,706 1,421 4,826 3,253
Year to Jun-19 6,407 5,445 1,823 1,430 4,584 4,015
Year to Jun-20 7,424 4,717 1,648 1,042 5,776 3,675
Change +1,017 -728 -175 -388 +1,192 -340
Change (%) +16% -13% -10% -27% +26% -8%

Contact

Email: housingstatistics@gov.scot