2. 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 September 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 September 2020:
Affordable housing supply activity in the most recent period up to the end of September 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. It also continues to be impacted on by the application of COVID-19 construction guidance.
This has 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 most recent quarter, July to September 2020, has therefore increased, although the levels achieved may have been affected by the phased re-start of supply activity. Summary Table 1 and Charts 1a to 1c below help to illustrate these trends.
Summary Table 1 below shows that in the latest quarter July to September 2020, 1,026 homes were approved, 2,009 homes were started, and 1,057 homes were completed, levels which are 53%, 24% and 49% below equivalent quarterly levels in the previous year 2019, respectively.
Latest annual figures are also showing decreases, with the number of homes approved, started and completed in the year to September 2020 falling by 3% (291 homes) to 11,110 approvals, 9% (936 homes) to 10,070 starts and 21% (1,959 homes) to 7,198 completions, compared with the year to end September 2019.
|Quarter July to Sept 2015||1,260||1,612||1,809|
|Quarter July to Sept 2016||2,016||1,995||1,668|
|Quarter July to Sept 2017||1,998||2,048||1,692|
|Quarter July to Sept 2018||1,641||2,159||2,213|
|Quarter July to Sept 2019||2,202||2,650||2,087|
|Quarter July to Sept 2020||1,026||2,009||1,057|
|Change over latest year||-1,176||-641||-1,030|
|Change (%) over latest year||-53%||-24%||-49%|
|Year to Sept 2015||6,536||6,082||7,108|
|Year to Sept 2016||8,897||8,561||6,880|
|Year to Sept 2017||10,656||9,992||7,305|
|Year to Sept 2018||11,575||10,727||9,021|
|Year to Sept 2019||11,401||11,006||9,157|
|Year to Sept 2020||11,110||10,070||7,198|
|Change over latest year||-291||-936||-1,959|
|Change (%) over latest year||-3%||-9%||-21%|
Chart 1a below illustrates the quarterly trends in the numer of approvals in each year between 2016 and 2020, and shows that 1,026 homes were approved in the latest quarter July to September 2020. This is a 16% (143 homes) increase on the previous quarter, but the 1,026 approvals is below the levels seen in equivalent quarters in each of the previous four years.
Chart 1b below shows the quarterly trends in the number of starts between 2016 and 2020, and shows that 2,009 homes were started in the latest quarter July to September 2020. This is over double (an increase of 1,208 homes) the number of starts in the previous quarter. The 2,009 starts is lower than the same quarter in 2019 (2,650 homes), but is at similar levels seen in the comparable quarters in each of the earlier years 2016 to 2018.
Chart 1c below (also shown on page 1 as Chart 1) illustrates the quarterly trends in the number of completions between 2016 and 2020, and shows that 1,057 homes were completed in the latest quarter July to September 2020. This is an increase of 860 homes on the previous quarter, but is below levels seen in the comparable quarters in each of the earlier years 2016 to 2018.
Chart 2 below shows that the numbers of homes approved, started and completed have all decreased on an annual basis over the latest year. In the year to end September 2020, 11,110 affordable homes were approved, a decrease of 291 homes (3%) on the previous year, but 70% more (4,574 homes) than the year to end September 2015. Over the same period, there were 10,070 homes started, a decrease of 936 homes (9%) on the previous year but 3,988 homes (66%) more than the same period in 2015. There were 7,198 affordable homes completed in the year to end September 2020, 1,959 homes (21%) less than in the previous year but 1% more (90 homes) than the same period in 2015.
Chart 3 below shows that total affordable housing supply programme approvals decreased by 3% between 2019 and 2020 (years to end September). In the latest year 2020, social rent approvals accounted for 80% of all approvals, with affordable rent and affordable home ownership both making up 11% and 9% of the remaining total respectively.
In the year to end September 2020, there were 8,847 homes approved for social rent, 5% (409 homes) more than the same period in 2019. There were 1,218 approvals for affordable rent, 8% (108 homes) less than the same period in 2019. 1,045 homes were approved for affordable home ownership in the year to end September 2020, 36% less (592 homes) than the previous year.
Chart 4 below illustrates that total affordable housing supply programme starts deceased by 9% between 2019 and 2020 (years to end September). In the latest year, social rent starts accounted for 76% of all starts, with affordable rent and affordable home ownership making up 15% and 9% of the total, respectively.
In the year to end September 2020, there were 7,642 starts for social rent, 1% less (64 homes) than the previous year. There were 1,545 homes started for affordable rent in the year to end September 2020, 8% more (115 homes) than the same period in 2019. In the year to end September 2020, 883 homes were started for affordable home ownership, 53% (987 homes) less than in the previous year.
Chart 5 shows that total affordable housing supply programme completions decreased by 21% between 2019 and 2020 (years to end September). In the latest year, social rent completions accounted for 76% of all completions, with affordable rent and affordable home ownership making up 11% and 14% of the total, respectively.
In the year to end September 2020, there were 5,449 homes completed for social rent, 19% (1,317 homes) less than the previous year. There were 767 affordable rent homes completed in the year to end September 2020, 12% less (108 homes) than in 2019. A total of 982 homes were completed for affordable home ownership in the year to end September 2020, 21% (534 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 6 below illustrates how the figures per 10,000 population have varied across the 2007/08 to 2019/20 period, with figures for Scotland, England and Wales for 2019/20.
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 (12.8 homes per 10,000 population - average across the years 2010/11 to 2018/19). 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. Affordable housing supply figures for Northern Ireland for 2019/20 are not yet available but will be added to this chart in future publications.
Note that the way in which we calculate total affordable housing supply figures for Northern Ireland has been revised compared to previous publications so that this now incorporates information on off-the-shelf and rehabilitations as well as new build delivery. This has increased the level of the Northern Ireland total affordable housing supply figures compared to the figures previously published by an average of 25% across the period 2010/11 to 2018/19.
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 5.2 affordable / intermediate rent homes completed per 10,000 head of population and 1.2 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.