4. UK House Price Index (HPI) new build sales transactions, as a measure of private-led housebuilding activity to end June 2020
This Housing Statistics for Scotland Quarterly update was due to include an update on private-led and all-sector new house building starts and completions to end March 2020, with more recent figures on social sector new builds to end June 2020.
However due to ongoing new build data supply delays from local authorities, due to COVID-19 related staffing and resourcing issues, which have affected a greater number of local authorities compared to the previous quarter, the release of these statistics has be delayed. We are continuing to liaise with local authorities on the supply of data and we plan to publish the latest quarterly new house building statistics as soon as we possibly can.
Previous quarterly publications on new housebuilding statistics can be found on the Housing Statistics webpages of the Scottish Government website.
The most recent published Excel tables on all-sector house building starts and completions to end December 2019, and social sector new build figures to end March 2020, can be accessed at new housebuilding and affordable housing supply time series tables web page.
In the absence of the latest new house building figures, this publication includes some additional material that may help to provide an indication of the impacts of COVID-19 on private led new housebuilding activity to end June 2020, based on UK House Price Index (HPI) published figures on the number of new build sales transactions.
There are based on separately published 'UK House Price Index (HPI)' local authority and Scotland level figures of the number of private new build sales transactions completed each month. The HPI new build transaction figures cover trends on this basis for the time period up to end June 2020, and can be accessed through the New build and existing resold property' CSV file in the UK House Price Index data downloads.
Note that whilst the HPI new build sales transaction figures may be helpful in providing an indication of recent trends in new build activity, they will not be directly comparable to the Scottish Government time series on private-led new build starts and completions. This is due to differences in how the figures are constructed. For example the UK HPI new build sales transaction figures are based on completed sales transactions, which may differ to the point in time in which the building is constructed, and will also exclude self-build dwellings or dwellings built privately for tenures other than private sales.
Further information on the quality of the HPI data for Scotland, which is sourced from Registers of Scotland transactions registered, is available in the UK HPI Quality Assurance section of the UK House Price Index web page.
Summary Table 2 and Chart 8 below illustrate how the UK HPI figures compare to previously published Scottish Government Private sector-led completion figures in each quarter from January to March 2019 onwards, and also provide the latest trends seen in the UK HPI new build sales transactions figures across the two more recent quarters January to March and April to June 2020
It can be seen across the period January to March 2019 to October to December 2019 (the latest available quarterly figures for Scottish Government Private led completions) that both data series follow similar trends in respect of increases or decreases compared to the previous quarter. The Scottish Government figures are higher each quarter, but this is likely to be explained by differences in how the figures are constructed, for example that some self-build dwellings or dwellings built privately for tenures other than private sales will be included, whereas the HPI figures are based on private sale transactions only.
|HPI New Build Sales Transactions Volume||Scottish Government Private-led completions|
|Jan - Mar 2019||2,407||3,438|
|Apr - Jun 2019||3,293||4,484|
|Jul - Sep 2019||2,759||4,005|
|Oct - Dec 2019||3,807||4,550|
|Jan - Mar 2020||2,327||Not available|
|Apr - Jun 2020||673||Not available|
|Change from Apr-Jun 2019 to Apr-Jun 2020||-2,620|
|Change (%) from Apr-Jun 2019 to Apr-Jun 2020||-80%|
The latest HPI figures show that there were 673 new build sales transactions in Scotland in the quarter from April to June 2020, a drop of 80% compared with the same quarter in the previous year.
The Scotland-level HPI figures indicate that the COVID-19 lockdown from mid-March to end June 2020, where home buyers were advised to delay moving to a new home where possible, is likely to have had a significant impact on the volume of new build sales in Scotland, as shown in the figure for the quarter April to June 2020.
Table 3 below shows the local authority level HPI figures for the volume of private new build sales transactions. It can be seen that 29 of the 32 local authorities have seen a reduction in the volume of private new build sales when comparing the latest period April to June 2020 with the same quarter in the previous year. In addition, all local authorities apart from Shetland Islands have shown a decrease in the volume of sales recorded in April to June 2020 compared to the quarter immediately prior (January to March 2020).
HPI figures are also available for each local authority for the more recent single month of July 2020. These figures show higher volumes of private new build sales in the single month of July 2020 compared to the combined three months of April to June 2020 in nearly half of the local authorities. These more recent figures for July 2020 therefore indicate that the volume of new build sales transactions is likely to be beginning to increase in many areas following the low figures seen in the quarter April to June 2020.
|Apr-Jun 2019||Jul-Sep 2020||Oct-Dec 2019||Jan-Mar 2020||Apr-Jun 2020||Spark-line charts:||Apr-Jun 2020 compared to Apr-Jun 2019|
|Argyll and Bute||38||14||44||14||7||-82%|
|City of Aberdeen||184||102||154||97||34||-82%|
|City of Dundee||87||51||57||50||14||-84%|
|City of Edinburgh||365||337||397||288||67||-82%|
|City of Glasgow||241||222||309||213||46||-81%|
|Dumfries and Galloway||21||27||31||16||3||-86%|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||0||2||0||2||1||n/a|
|Perth and Kinross||114||129||137||77||20||-82%|