New house completions in Scotland reach almost 16,000 in 2019/20, but stats reveal decline

ALMOST 16,000 new-build home completions – across all sectors, such as social housing – took place in Scotland during the year to the end of September last year (2020).

According to the latest, quarterly housing statistics issued by the Scottish Government’s chief statistician, the exact figure of 15,852 represents a decrease of 28 per cent (6,132 homes) on the previous 12 months – attributed to the lockdown response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In more detail, the decrease was spread between private-led completions (31 per cent, or 5,133 homes), housing association completions (15 per cent, or 591 homes) and local authority completions (27 per cent, or 408 homes).

Says a Scottish Government announcement (here): “The number of new-build homes started across all sectors also decreased in the year to end September 2020, with a total of 18,973 starts, a decrease of 24 per cent (5,986 homes) on the previous year.

“Private-led starts decreased by 33 per cent (6,055 homes) and local authority starts decreased by 29 per cent (580 homes), while housing association approvals increased by 13 per cent (649 homes).”

The announcement went on: “More up-to-date figures published as part of the UK House Price Index show a total of 2,680 private new-build sales transactions in Scotland in the quarter from January to March 2021. This is a decrease of 13 per cent (405) on the 3,085 transactions recorded in October to December 2020, but an increase of 1,963 on the 717 transactions seen in April to June 2020, when construction and housing market lockdown measures were in place.

“This brings the total number of private new-build sales transactions in the year to end March 2021 to 8,904, a decrease of 27 per cent (3,340 transactions) on the 12,244 transactions recorded in the same period in 2020.”

It continued: “Latest social sector new housebuilding figures for October to December 2020 show that 1,256 social sector homes were completed.

“This is an increase of 285 homes on the previous quarter July to September 2020, but a decrease of 14 per cent (213 homes) on the 1,469 social sector completions in October to December 2019. This brings the total completions for the 12 months to end December 2020 to 4,189, a decrease of 29 per cent (1,720 homes) on the 5,909 social sector homes completed in the previous year.

“There were 1,595 affordable homes completed in the latest quarter April to June 2021, bringing the total number of affordable homes completed in the 12 months to end June 2021 to 7,864.

“This is a decrease of five per cent (374 homes) on the 8,238 affordable homes completed in the previous year, with decreases in the number of completions for social rent (by 11 per cent, or 701 homes) and affordable home ownership (by five per cent, or 63 homes), but an increase in the number of completions for affordable rent (by 48 per cent, or 390 homes).

“A total of 1,063 affordable homes were approved in April to June 2021. This brings the total number of homes approved in the 12 months to end June 2021 to 7,972, a decrease of 36 per cent (4,404 homes) on the 12,376 homes approved in the previous year, with decreases in the number of approvals for social rent (by 38 per cent or 3,692 homes), affordable rent (by 30 per cent, or 420 homes) and affordable home ownership (by 23 per cent, or 292 homes).

“Over the same period April to June 2021, there were 1,854 affordable homes started, bringing the total number of homes started in the 12 months to end June 2021 to 11,097. This is an increase of three per cent (282 homes) on the 10,815 homes started in the previous year, with increases in the number of starts for social rent (by five per cent, or 405 homes) and affordable home ownership (by three per cent or 34 homes), but a decrease in the number of starts for affordable rent (by nine per cent, or 157 homes).”

Picture: Hawick housing; Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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