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Stability in new build housing completions in latest year

Published: 14 Mar 2017 09:30
Part of:
Housing, Statistics

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

There were 16,309 new build homes completed in the 12 months to September 2016, an increase of 157 homes, or 1%, on the 16,152 homes completed in the previous year.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released the latest Quarterly Housing Statistics for Scotland, which presents the latest quarterly information on new build housing, affordable housing supply and local authority right to buy applications and sales.

There were increases in the number of new build completions over the year to end September 2016 for private-led new builds (up by 516 homes or 4% on the previous year) and local authority new builds (up by 126 homes or 12%), when compared to the previous year, with a decrease for housing association new builds (down by 485 homes or 16% on the previous year). [Note that private sector new build completion figures for Edinburgh have been estimated from 2015 Quarter 4. Further information on this is available in the background section below.]

There were a total of 16,870 new build starts over the year to end September 2016, a decrease of 880 homes, or 5%, on the 17,750 starts in the previous year. There were increases in the number of housing association approvals (up by 857 homes or 33%) and local authority starts (up by 108 homes or 7%), whilst private-led new build starts decreased by 1,845 homes (14%), when compared to the previous year.

Annual all sector new build starts and completions
Annual all sector new build starts and completions

 Key Points

 New Build Housing – All Sectors:

  • There were 3,744 new build homes completed between July and September 2016; an 8% decrease on the same quarter in 2015. This brings the total for the year to end September 2016 to 16,309, up 1% (157 homes) compared to the 16,152 completed in the previous year.
  • There were 4,322 new build homes started between July and September 2016; 3% more than the same quarter in 2015. This brings the total for the year to end September 2016 to 16,870 which is down by 5% (880 homes) compared to the 17,750 homes started in the previous year.

New Build Housing – Private-led Housing:

  • Between July and September 2016, 2,912 private sector led homes were completed; down 6% on the same quarter in 2015. This brings the total for the year to end September 2016 to 12,616, which is 4% (516 homes) more than the 12,100 completions in the previous year.
  • There were 3,016 private sector led starts between July and September 2016, down 8% on the same quarter in 2015. This brings the total for the year ending September 2016 to 11,816, which is 14% (1,845 homes) less than the 13,661 starts in the previous year.

New Build Housing – Social Sector Housing (Housing Association and Local Authority combined):

  • There were 832 social housing completions between July and September 2016; 16% less than the same quarter in 2015. This brings the total for the year to end September 2016 to 3,693. This is a 9% decrease on the 4,052 social sector completions in the previous year.
  • Meanwhile, 1,306 social sector homes were started between July and September 2016; 46% higher than the same quarter in 2015. This brings the total for the year to end September 2016 to 5,054. This is a 24% increase on the 4,089 social sector starts in the previous year.
  • More up-to-date figures show that, between October to December 2016, 849 social sector homes were completed (19 fewer than the 868 completions in the same quarter in 2015), and 1,162 were started (4% more than the same quarter in the previous year). This brings the total completions for the 12 months to end December 2016 to 3,674 (a 9% decrease on the 4,037 social sector homes completed in the previous year). Total starts over the 12 months to end December 2016 are now at 5,101 (17% more than the 4,356 started in the previous year).  

New Build Housing – Housing Association Homes:

  • There were 610 housing association completions between July and September 2016, 23% less than the 790 completions in the same quarter in 2015. This brings the total for the year to end September 2016 to 2,516, a 16% (485 homes) decrease on the 3,001 completions over the previous year.
  • There were 803 housing association approvals between July and September; more than double the 332 approvals in the same quarter in the previous year. This brings the total for the year to end September 2016 to 3,475. This is an increase of 33% (857 homes) on the 2,618 approvals in the previous year.
  • More up-to-date figures show that a total of 510 Housing Association homes were completed between October and December 2016, 10% fewer completions than in the same period in the previous year (567 homes). This brings the total completions for the 12 months to end December 2016 to 2,459, which is a decrease of 17% on the 2,954 homes completed in the previous year. A total of 902 Housing Association homes were approved between October and December 2016, 15% more than the 785 approvals in the same quarter in 2015. This brings the total approvals for the 12 months to end December 2016 to 3,592, a 24% increase on the 2,893 approvals in the previous year.

New Build Housing – Local Authority Homes:

  • There were 222 local authority completions between July and September 2016, which is 14% more than the number that were completed in the same quarter in 2015. This brings the total for the year ending September 2016 to 1,177. This is a 12% (126 homes) increase on the 1,051 completions the previous year.
  • There were 503 local authority starts between July and September 2016; 10% lower than the number in the same quarter in 2015. This brings the total for year ending September 2016 to 1,579. This is a 7% (108 homes) increase on the 1,471 starts in the previous year.
  • More up-to-date figures show that, between October and December 2016, 339 local authority houses were completed (38 more homes than the same quarter in the previous year), and 260 were started (70 fewer homes than the same quarter in the previous year). This brings the total completions for the year to end December 2016 to 1,215, which is 12% higher than the previous year. Total starts for the 12 months to end December 2016 now stands at 1,509 which is an increase of 3% on the 1,463 local authority homes completed in the previous year.

Affordable Housing Supply – up to end December 2016:

  • Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) 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.
  • The latest statistics for the year to end December 2016 show that affordable housing supply completions have totalled 6,741, down 6% (422 homes) on the previous year. This includes decreases in social rent completions (down by 6% or 237 homes) and affordable rent completions (down by 18% or 206 homes), along with an increase in affordable home ownership completions (up by 1% or 21 homes).
  • There were 8,840 affordable housing approvals over the year up to end December 2016, up by 20% or 1,448 homes compared to the previous year. This includes increases in social rent approvals (up by 12% or 624 homes), affordable rent approvals (up by 26% or 257 homes), and affordable home ownership approvals (up 41% or 567 homes).
  • There were 7,853 new affordable houses started in the year to end December 2016, up by 17% or 1,148 homes compared to the previous year. This includes increases in social rent starts (up by 10% or 447 homes), affordable rent starts (up by 12% or 109 homes), and affordable home ownership starts (up 43% or 592 homes).
  • 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.

Local Authority Right to Buy Applications and Sales:

  • The Right to Buy scheme closed to all new applicants on 31 July 2016, therefore application figures presented for the latest quarter July to September 2016 relate to applications made during the single month of July 2016 only. During this time period there were 3,353 Right to Buy applications, just under three times the 1,161 applications in the same quarter in the previous year. Throughout the year to end September 2016 there were 9,060 applications made, more than double the 3,890 applications made in the year to end September 2015.
  • Right to Buy sales can occur in a period later than that in which the application was made, and therefore sales figures presented for the latest quarter July to September 2016 relate to sales across this entire quarterly period. During this time period there were 712 Right to Buy sales, 63% more than the 437 sales in the same quarter in the previous year. Throughout the year to end September 2016 there were 2,200 sales, 37% more than the 1,608 sales in the year to end September 2015.

Background

Note that the new build starts figures quoted in this Statistical News Release contain information on approvals rather than starts for housing associations. This is because the data held on approvals for housing association new builds is considered to be a more robust measure than the data held on starts. An approval is the point in time at which Scottish Government funding is granted through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme. Further information on this is available in the explanatory document providing background information on the quarterly statistics.

Figures on private sector new build completions for Edinburgh have been estimated from 2015 Quarter 4 onwards due to quality concerns of data derived from building completion certificates. Estimates for Edinburgh have instead been based on private new build house sales data from Registers of Scotland, with further assumptions on self-builds and private sector led section 75 completions which are not captured within this data source. The estimates for Edinburgh are being investigated further and are subject to change in future publications.

The Affordable Housing Supply Programme statistics include off-the-shelf purchases and rehabilitations as well as new build.

  • 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.

Read the full publication, containing details of new house building the Affordable Housing Supply Programme and sales of social sector housing.

The web tables associated with this publication can be found as follows:

An explanatory document providing background information on the statistics is also available.

The new build, AHSP and sales tables are updated each quarter. A range of other statistics are updated annually and are available on the Housing Statistics for Scotland website

Housing Association and most Local Authority led new build activity is funded through Scottish Government funding programmes. Several changes to these funding programmes in recent years have affected both the trends and seasonal quarterly pattern of new build approvals, so care should be taken when making comparisons over time. These same changes will also impact on the Affordable Housing Supply Programme.

The supply statistics break down new build construction activity into private-led and social sector starts and completions, with the social sector further broken down between local authority and registered social landlord (housing association). The figures are as recorded by Local Authority administrative systems and the Scottish Government Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) system. Private sector construction activity includes not only homes built for private sale but also some homes which are used in the affordable housing sector and self-build activity by local builders.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – see here for more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland.