Total of 18,974 new build homes completed in Scotland by June 2021
There were 18,974 all-sector new build homes completed in Scotland in the year to end June 2021, according to quarterly statistics on housebuilding and affordable housing supply published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.
This is an increase of 10% (1,751 homes) on the 17,223 completions in the previous year, in which activity levels were impacted by Covid-19 lockdown measures.
However, the latest annual figure is below the 21,603 homes completed in the year to end June 2019. Increases in the latest year were seen across private-led completions (12% or 1,495 homes) and local authority completions (83% or 876 homes). Housing association completions, however, dropped by 17% or 620 homes.
The number of new-build homes started across all sectors increased over the same period, with 21,686 starts – an increase of 4% (886 homes) on the previous year. Private-led starts rose by 29% (3,810 homes) and local authority starts increased by 10% (166 homes), while housing association approvals dropped by 54% (3,090 homes).
More up-to-date figures published as part of the UK House Price Index show that there have been 11,029 private new-build sales transactions in the 12 months to end October 2021. This is an increase of 16% (1,551 transactions) on the 9,478 transactions recorded in the previous year, to end October 2020.
Latest social sector new housebuilding figures show that in the 12 months to end September 2021, 5,598 homes were completed – an increase of 27% (1,194 homes) on the 4,404 social sector homes completed in the previous year, in which activity levels were affected by Covid-19 lockdown measures. Starts, however, fell by 29% (2,014 homes) to 4,935 over the same period, down from 6,949 in the year to end September 2020.
Separate quarterly statistics on the Affordable Housing Supply programme show that 2,159 affordable homes were completed in the latest quarter, from October to December 2021. This brings the total number of affordable homes completed in the 12 months to end December 2021 to 9,211.
This is an increase of 35% (2,412 homes) on the 6,799 affordable homes completed in the previous year, with increases in the number of completions for social rent (26% or 1,353 homes), affordable rent (103% or 683 homes) and affordable home ownership (42% or 376 homes).
A total of 1,892 affordable homes were approved in October to December 2021, bringing the total number of homes approved in the 12 months to end December 2021 to 8,398.
This is a decrease of 17% (1,763 homes) on the 10,161 homes approved in the previous year, with decreases in the number of approvals for social rent (by 20% or 1,576 homes) and affordable rent (by 26% or 311 homes), but an increase in approvals for affordable home ownership (by 13% or 124 homes).
A total of 1,897 affordable homes were started in October to December 2021, bringing the total number of homes started in the 12 months to end December 2021 to 9,679.
This is a decrease of 4% (453 homes) on the 10,132 homes started in the previous year, with decreases in the number of starts for social rent (by 10% or 783 homes) and affordable rent (by 2% or 31 homes), but an increase in the number of starts for affordable home ownership (by 42% or 361 homes).
Trade body Homes for Scotland (HFS) has expressed its concern at latest Scottish Government housing statistics which show marked drops in housing association completions and approvals.
Fionna Kell, HFS director of policy, said: “Whilst overall levels of housing delivery are up on last year’s figures, it is extremely concerning to see that housing association completions have dropped by 17 per cent (620 homes) and quite staggering that approvals have fallen by 54 per cent (3,090 homes).
“Unfortunately, this chimes with what our members have been telling us. Highlighting the interconnectedness of the whole housing system, rising costs have hit those delivering homes to both the public and private sectors extremely hard. Grant funding levels must be reviewed, as a matter of urgency, to reflect these exceptional circumstances and arrest this decline otherwise we will see ever decreasing numbers of affordable homes coming through the pipeline.”
Ms Kell’s comments follow a recent HFS report highlighting that Scotland’s cumulative housing shortfall since the global financial crisis is now approaching 100,000 homes.
Similarly, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has said that it is worried by the latest housing statistics, released yesterday by the Scottish Government. The statistics show the number of homes built by housing associations fell by 17% in the year ending June 21, while the number of approvals to build fell to their lowest level since 2015. Just over 3,000 housing association homes were completed between June 2020– 2021, compared to 3,675 in the previous year.
Sally Thomas, SFHA chief executive, added: “Today’s figures are worrying, and, if these trends continue, the Scottish Government risks missing its target of delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032. We know the pandemic had a serious impact on housebuilding, but, two years on, it’s concerning to still be seeing this decline in housing association approvals and completions.
“We know our members are facing serious pressures which are affecting their ability to develop. Not only is the cost of building homes increasing, but our members are continuing to experience supply chain issues. We are therefore calling on the Scottish Government to build on the investment that it has already committed to the social housing sector. It is vital that funding meets increasing costs, so our members can build the homes Scotland desperately needs.”