Publication - Research and analysis

Scottish Housing Market Review: January - March 2021

Published: 30 Jun 2021

Summary of the latest Scottish housing market data.

Scottish Housing Market Review: January - March 2021
5. Residential LBTT; Homelessness

5. Residential LBTT; Homelessness

Residential LBTT; Homelessness

Chart 5.1 Residential LBTT Revenue (Excluding ADS, Monthly, £ millions)
Chart 5.1 plots the residential land and building transaction tax (“LBTT”) revenue each year on a monthly basis from April 2015 to May 2021.

Source: Revenue Scotland

Residential LBTT

There was a reduction in residential LBTT revenue in 2020-21, with residential LBTT liabilities excluding ADS totalling £256.8m, down by 10.6% on 2019-20, and gross ADS liabilities totalling £156.6m, down by 5.9%. This was due to the housing market recovery from Q3 2020 onward being insufficient to offset the lost revenue from the period of housing market restrictions in Q2 2020, as well as from the temporary increase of the zero rate threshold for all buyers to £250K (from £175K for first-time buyers, and £145K for other buyers), which took effect on 15 July 2020 and ended on 31 March 2021.

Residential LBTT revenues excluding ADS rose sharply from £20.8m in February 2021 to £38.3m in March, before falling to £18.3m in April, as transactions were brought forward to benefit from the temporary reduction in LBTT. Revenues then returned to £25.6m in May 2021, which is higher than the £22.9m recorded in May 2019, suggesting the market may have stabilised at pre-covid levels.

Chart 5.2 Homelessness in Scotland (Annual)
Chart 5.2 outlines the annual amount of homelessness in Scotland. In particular, the number of homelessness applications, those who are assessed as homeless and the number of people in temporary accommodation each year. This is shown from 2002-2003 to 2020-2021.

Source: Scottish Government

Chart 5.3 Homelessness in Scotland (Monthly)*
Chart 5.3 plots the monthly number of households in temporary accommodation and the number of homelessness applications from March 2020 for temporary accommodation and from April 2020 for homelessness applications to April 2021.

Source: Scottish Government


2020/21 saw 33,792 homelessness applications in Scotland, an annual decrease of 8.8% (-3,251). 27,571 households were assessed as being homeless (including those threatened with homelessness), a reduction relative to 2019/20 of 12.7% (-4,010). This included 30,345 (-15.5%) adults and 11,804 (-26.5%) children. There were 13,097 households in offered temporary accommodation as at 31 March 2021, an annual increase of 12.3% (+1,432).

On a per capita basis, West Dunbartonshire had the highest number of homeless households per 1,000 population (aged 16+) in 2020/21, at 11.9. This compares to a Scottish average of 6.1.

In response to Covid-19 pandemic, the Scottish Government is publishing monthly Management Information on homelessness applications and households in temporary accommodation, although this is not directly comparable to the official homelessness statistics. The monthly data shows that in April 2021 there were 2,879 homelessness applications. The number of households in temporary accommodation peaked at 14,397 at the end of August 2020, but has since fallen to 13,138 at the end of April.

* Note that the monthly temporary accommodation data for April 2020 was missing data from 5 local authorities. Therefore, this data point is suppressed in Chart 5.3. Instead, the figure at the end of March, taken from official statistics, is shown for comparison purposes.