New-build housing statistics, 2020-21

JUST over 15,000 new homes were completed in Scotland, between the years 2020-21 – according to figures just released.

Although the exact figure of 15,360 homes now includes details of building conversions into homes, it still represents a decrease of 7,687 homes (33 per cent) on the 23,047 homes in 2019-20, and is the first annual decrease in total new housing supply since 2012-13.

Says the Scottish Government, this reflects “the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across different types of housing supply activity”.

The year 2020-21 runs between April 1 2020 and March 31 2021.

Adds the announcement of the figures, here: “As reported on in previous quarterly housing statistics releases, the financial year 2020-21 saw decreases in completions for housing association new-builds by 1,840 homes (44 per cent), private-led new-builds by 5,344 homes (33 per cent), local authority new-builds by 57 homes (four per cent), and refurbishments by 223 homes (67 per cent).

“However, the more recent 12-month period to June 2021 has seen an increase of 1,751 homes (ten per cent) in all-sector new housebuilding completions compared with the previous year.”

The announcement continues: “As at 31 March 2020, there were an estimated 2.6 million dwellings in Scotland, with an estimated 58 per cent of dwellings being owner-occupied, four per cent being vacant or second homes, 15 per cent being private rented or where the household is living rent-free, and 23 per cent being social rented properties.

“As at 31 March 2021, there were a total of 318,369 local authority dwellings, an increase of 1,461 (0.5 per cent) on the 316,908 dwellings in 2020, and the third consecutive annual increase in local authority stock since 2018. Separate figures from the Scottish Housing Regulator show that housing association stock increased by 1,539 (0.5 per cent) to 292,951 dwellings over the year to 31 March 2021, which results in total social sector housing stock of 611,320 dwellings as at 31 March 2021, compared to 608,320 dwellings in the previous year.”

Among other findings:

* Local authorities reported 9,813 units of vacant stock as at 31 March 2021, an increase of 18 per cent (1,482 units) on the 8,331 units in the previous year, with some of this increase likely to have been due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic;

* During 2020-21 there were 19,630 permanent local authority lettings made, a decrease of 6,376 lets (25 per cent) compared with the previous year, with the total number of lets made likely to have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions;

* There were 32 local authority tenancy terminations (evictions and abandonments) in 2020-21, a decrease from the 1,151 terminations in 2019-20 due to restrictions on evictions brought in due to COVID-19 legislation;

* As at 31 March 2021, 178,260 applications were recorded on local authority or common housing register housing lists, an eight per cent increase on the 164,946 applications recorded in 2020, with the figure in the latest year likely to have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a reduction in the overall number of local authority lets during 2020-21;

* There were 14,862 houses in multiple occupation (HMO) licences in force as at 31 March 2021, with more than 90 per cent accounted for by six local authorities – Aberdeen City, Dundee City, City of Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow City, and Stirling; and

* In 2020-21, 4,516 scheme of assistance grants were paid to private home owners, a 42 per cent decrease (or 3,207 fewer grants) than 2019-20. Scheme of Assistance grants totalled £18.5 million, which is around £8 million less than in 2019-20.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland