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
7. Affordable housing supply
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. Statistics are available up to the end of December 2020.
Quarterly affordable housing supply statistics are used to inform the Scottish Government target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes, including 35,000 homes for social rent, over the period 2016/17 to 2020/21, and reflect the number of affordable homes delivered that have received some form of government support through loans, grant or guarantees.
Approvals, starts and completions are all measured for the Affordable Housing Supply Programme. Approval is the point at which funding is granted. Starts are recorded when an on-site presence is established to progress site work. Completion measures when the units are delivered and ready for occupation.
Social Rent includes Housing Association Rent, Council House Rent as well as Home Owner Support Fund Rent.
Affordable Rent includes Mid-Market Rent (MMR), National Housing Trust (NHT) Rent as well as other programmes such as the Empty Homes Loan Fund (EHLF) and Rural Homes for Rent (RHfR).
Affordable Home Ownership includes Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE), New Supply Shared Equity (NSSE), Shared Ownership (LCHO) as well as other programmes such as Home Owner Support Fund Shared Equity.
Latest figures to end December 2020:
COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on construction and housing market activity from mid-March 2020 to late June 2020 have lowered the total amount of activity recorded for the two quarters from January to March 2020 and April to June 2020 compared to what would otherwise have been the case.
Following this, there has been a phased re-start of supply activity, in which the construction sector moved into Phase 4 of the Restart Plan in mid July 2020. This allows for sites to work up to a steady state operation using physical distancing, barriers, or controlled close working with PPE, but in some cases may result in fewer workforce staff on site to ensure safe working and physical distancing. In addition to this, some work on new approvals may have been affected over this period by the furloughing of some social landlord and construction sector staff.
Since the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions towards the end of June 2020, the total amount of activity recorded for the two most recent quarters, July to September 2020 and October to December 2020, has therefore increased, although the levels achieved may have been affected by the phased re-start of supply activity. Table 7 and Charts 11a to 11c below help to illustrate these trends.
Table 7 below shows that in the latest quarter October to December 2020, 2,088 homes were approved, 2,230 homes were started, and 1,918 homes were completed, levels which are 33% (1,044 homes),11% (264 homes) and 22% (543 homes) below equivalent quarterly levels in the previous year 2019, respectively.
Latest annual figures also showing decreases, with the number of homes approved, started and completed in the year to December 2020 falling by 15% (1,764 homes) to 10,066 approvals, 11% (1,166 homes) to 9,806 starts and 30% (2,846 homes) to 6,655 completions, compared with the year to end December 2019.
|Quarter Oct to Dec 2015||2,053||1,969||1,362|
|Quarter Oct to Dec 2016||2,108||1,794||1,749|
|Quarter Oct to Dec 2017||1,733||2,870||1,909|
|Quarter Oct to Dec 2018||2,703||2,528||2,117|
|Quarter Oct to Dec 2019||3,132||2,494||2,461|
|Quarter Oct to Dec 2020||2,088||2,230||1,918|
|Change over latest year||-1,044||-264||-543|
|Change (%) over latest year||-33%||-11%||-22%|
|Year to Dec 2015||7,392||6,705||7,163|
|Year to Dec 2016||8,952||8,386||7,261|
|Year to Dec 2017||10,281||11,068||7,505|
|Year to Dec 2018||12,545||10,385||9,189|
|Year to Dec 2019||11,830||10,972||9,501|
|Year to Dec 2020||10,066||9,806||6,655|
|Change over latest year||-1,764||-1,166||-2,846|
|Change (%) over latest year||-15%||-11%||-30%|
Chart 11a below illustrates the quarterly trends in the numer of approvals in each year between 2016 and 2020, and shows that 2,088 homes were approved in the latest quarter October to December 2020. This is over double (1,062 homes) the amount of affordable home approvals compared to the previous quarter, and brings the level of quarterly approvals back up to the level seen in 2016, and to a similar level to 2017, but below levels seen in 2018 and 2019.
Chart 11b below shows the quarterly trends in the number of starts between 2016 and 2020, and shows that 2,230 homes were started in the latest quarter October to December 2020. This is 11% (221 homes) more the number of starts in the previous quarter and an increase of 1,429 homes on Apr-Jun 2020. This brings the level of starts above the level seen in 2016 but below levels seen in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Chart 11c below illustrates the quarterly trends in the number of completions between 2016 and 2020, and shows that there were 1,918 affordable homes delivered in the latest quarter Oct-Dec 2020, an increase of 861 (81%) homes on the previous quarter, and an increase of 1,721 homes on Apr-Jun 2020. This brings the level of quarterly completions above levels seen in 2016 and 2017, but below levels in 2018 and 2019.
Chart 12 below shows that the numbers of homes approved, started and completed have all decreased on an annual basis over the latest year to end December 2020.
In the year to end December 2020, 10,066 affordable homes were approved, a decrease of 1,764 homes (15%) on the previous year. 9,806 homes were started, a decrease of 1,166 homes (11%) on the previous year, and 6,655 affordable homes were completed, 2,846 homes (30%) less than in the previous year.
Chart 13 below shows that total affordable housing supply programme approvals decreased by 15% between 2019 and 2020 (years to end December). In the latest year 2020, social rent approvals accounted for 79% of all approvals, with affordable rent and affordable home ownership both making up 12% and 10% of the remaining total respectively.
In the year to end December 2020, there were 7,906 homes approved for social rent, a decrease of 14% (1,290 homes) on the same period in 2019. There were 1,176 approvals for affordable rent, 2% (25 homes) less than the same period in 2019. 984 homes were approved for affordable home ownership in the year to end December 2020, 31% less (449 homes) than the previous year.
Chart 14 below illustrates that total affordable housing supply programme starts deceased by 11% between 2019 and 2020 (years to end December). In the latest year, social rent starts accounted for 77% of all starts, with affordable rent and affordable home ownership making up 14% and 9% of the total, respectively.
In the year to end December 2020, there were 7,593 starts for social rent, a decrease of 3% (199 homes) than the previous year. There were 1,358 homes started for affordable rent in the year to end December 2020, 18% less (295 homes) than the same period in 2019. In the year to end December 2020, 855 homes were started for affordable home ownership, 44% (672 homes) less than in the previous year.
Chart 15 shows that total affordable housing supply programme completions decreased by 30% between 2019 and 2020 (years to end December). In the latest year, social rent completions accounted for 78% of all completions, with affordable rent and affordable home ownership making up 9% and 13% of the total, respectively.
In the year to end December 2020, there were 5,175 homes completed for social rent, a decrease of 26% (1,848 homes) than the previous year. There were 602 affordable rent homes completed in the year to end December 2020, 42% less (442 homes) than in 2019. A total of 878 homes were completed for affordable home ownership in the year to end December 2020, 39% (556 homes) less than in 2019.
Comparison with the rest of the UK from 2007/08 to 2019/20
This section compares how the level of affordable housing supply per head of population varies between Scotland and other UK countries, to help meet user demand for cross country analysis.
Each of the countries of the UK produces their own statistics on affordable housing supply. Whilst there are some differences in the detail of affordable housing definitions and products used by each country, some comparisons can be made on how affordable housing supply varies per head of population.
Chart 15 below illustrates how the figures per 10,000 population have varied across the 2007/08 to 2019/20 period for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Between 2007/08 and 2019/20, the annual average supply of affordable housing per head of population in Scotland has been 13.8 homes per 10,000 population, higher than England (9.7 homes per 10,000 population), Wales (7.9 homes per 10,000 population), and Northern Ireland (13.0 homes per 10,000 population – average across the years 2010/11 to 2019/20). Scotland has had annual rates above all other UK countries in most years since 2007/08, except for during 2012/13 to 2014/15, in which the rates for Northern Ireland were higher.
The 9,286 affordable homes completed in Scotland in the latest financial year 2019/20 equates to a rate of 17.0 homes delivered per 10,000 population. This is above the rate of 10.2 in England and the rate of 11.3 in Wales and 14.4 in Northern Ireland.
The statistics for England and Wales both include developer-funded Section 106 supply, although for England it is thought that some will be missed as local authorities are not aware of it all. Northern Ireland does not currently have an equivalent mechanism. Data for Scotland include Section 75 units receiving some form of government funding. Data are not available to estimate the number of affordable homes delivered without central government funding in Scotland, but it is thought that the numbers of these homes may be relatively low based on current estimates of the number of funded Affordable and Section 75 homes being delivered.
In addition to the differences in total affordable supply between each country, there are also some differences in the use of different affordable housing products within the mix of overall affordable housing in each country. For example, in England in recent years there has been a greater use of affordable / intermediate rent compared to social rent. Therefore when looking over the four years to 2019/20, in England there have been on average 5.0 affordable / intermediate rent homes completed per 10,000 head of population and 1.1 social rented homes completed 10,000 per-head of population. This compares to a rate of 1.8 for affordable rent homes and a rate of 10.8 for social rented homes in Scotland.
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