SOME 1,057 ‘affordable homes’ were completed between July and September this year, an increase of 860 homes on the 197 completions during the previous quarter, April to June 2020 – according to figures released by the Scottish Government.
Say the latest Quarterly Housing Statistics issued by the government’s chief statistician, the increase “reflects the re-starting of housing supply activity after coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions on construction and housing market activity were eased from late June onwards”.
Add the figures: “There were about half the number (51 per cent) of affordable homes completed in the latest quarter compared with the same period last year, when there were 2,087 completions recorded. The levels achieved in the latest quarter may have been affected by the phased re-start of construction supply activity since late June and the COVID-19 construction guidance.
“The numbers of affordable homes approved and started have also been affected in recent quarters by the COVID-19 restrictions. However, between the quarter April to June and the quarter July to September, the volume of homes started rose by 1,208 to 2,009 homes, a higher volume increase than homes either approved or completed in the same period.”
A Scottish Government media release adds: “Separate annual statistics show that as of September 2020, the number of long-term empty properties has increased by 16 per cent (6,370 properties) from 40,963 last year to 47,333 in 2020. This is likely to be associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, which directly affected the rental and sales markets, with the restrictions on movement also having a range of other impacts.
“The number of second homes in 2020 (24,466) is at a broadly similar level to 2019 (24,314 homes), having increased by only one per cent (152 dwellings). This brings the total of long-term empty properties and second homes up by ten per cent to 71,999 in September 2020.”
Source: Quarterly Housing Statistics, Scottish Government, here. Published December 15 2020.