New-build homes in Scotland – completed, started, affordable, etc

ALMOST 15,000 new-build homes (across all types of tenures) were completed in Scotland in the year to the of end December last year – according to statistics just released by the Scottish Government.

But the exact figure of 14,834 represents a decrease of 35 per cent (7,839 homes) on the previous year, explained by the lockdown response, beginning in late March last year, to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Says a Scottish Government announcement, here: “Decreases were seen across private-led completions (37 per cent or 6,130 homes), housing association completions (32 per cent or 1,389 homes) and local authority completions (20 per cent or 320 homes).”

On the topic of new-starts, the announcement adds:”The number of new-build homes started across all sectors also decreased over the same period, with 17,883 starts, a decrease of 27 per cent (6,680 homes) on the previous year.

“Private-led starts dropped by 32 per cent (5,596 homes), local authority starts dropped by 41 per cent (860 homes) and housing association approvals dropped by five per cent (224 homes).”

Continues the announcement: “More up-to-date figures published as part of the UK House Price Index indicate that new-build sales transactions have returned to pre-pandemic levels, with the number of transactions between January and July 2021, being broadly in line with monthly volumes in 2019.

“The 11,346 transactions in the year to end July 2021 is an increase of 18 per cent (1,746 transactions) on the previous year.

“The latest social sector new housebuilding figures show that 1,513 social sector homes were completed in the quarter from January to March 2021.

“This is an increase of 19 per cent (246 homes) on the previous quarter, but a decrease of 22 per cent (415 homes) on the quarter January to March 2020. This brings total completions for the year to end March 2021 to 3,785, a decrease of 33 per cent (1,887 homes) on the previous year, when activity levels were affected by lockdown measures.”

The announcement continues, on the subject of ‘affordable homes’, with the Scottish Government operating to a target 110,000 new ‘affordable homes’ by the year 2030: “Separate quarterly statistics on the Affordable Housing Supply programme show that there were 2,094 affordable homes completed in the latest quarter, July to September 2021, bringing the total number of affordable homes completed in the year to end September 2021 to 8,792.

“This is an increase of 20 per cent (1,464 homes) on the previous year, with increases in the number of completions for social rent (by 15 per cent or 802 homes), affordable rent (by 46 per cent or 377 homes) and affordable home ownership (by 29 per cent or 285 homes).

“A total of 1,641 affordable homes were approved between July and September 2021, bringing the total number of approvals in the year to end September 2021 to 8,581, a decrease of 23 per cent (2,626 homes) on the previous year.

“There were decreases in the number of approvals for social rent (down 28 per cent or 2,545 homes), affordable rent (down 13 per cent or 153 homes) but an increase in affordable home ownership (up seven per cent or 72 homes).

“A total of 1,134 affordable homes were started between July and September 2021, bringing the total number of starts in the year to end September to 10,023. This is a decrease of three per cent (351 homes) on the 10,374 homes started in the previous year, with decreases in the number of starts for social rent (down eight per cent or 631 homes) and affordable rent (down five per cent or 77 homes), but an increase in the number of starts for affordable home ownership (up 40 per cent or 357 homes).

“Separate annual statistics show that as at September 2021, the number of long-term empty properties has decreased by eight per cent (3,567 properties) to 43,766. This follows on from an increase of 16 per cent (6,370 homes) from 2019 to 2020, which was associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Over the same period the number of second homes decreased by two per cent (576 dwellings) to 23,890.”

Pictured: just off Leith Walk, Edinburgh, Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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