Slight increase in rate of new-build home completions

ALMOST 22,000 new-build homes were completed across all sectors in Scotland – including the private sector and registered social landlords – during the 12 months to the end of March 2020.

Says the latest housing statistics issued by the Scottish Government, the exact figure of 21,910 represents an increase of three per cent (722 homes) on the previous year, “despite activity levels being affected by the introduction of Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown measures in late March”.

Says an announcement, here: “Increases were seen across private-led completions (three per cent, or 528 homes), housing association completions (three per cent, or 118 homes) and local authority completions (five per cent, or 76 homes).

“The number of new-build homes started across all sectors also increased in the year to end March 2020, with a total of 24,458 starts, an increase of nine per cent (1,954 homes) on the previous year.

“Local authority starts increased by 18 per cent (328 homes), housing association approvals increased by 37 per cent (1,636 homes), whilst private-led starts dropped slightly by 0.1 per cent (ten homes).”

The announcement continues: “More recent figures published as part of the UK House Price Index show a total of 1,114 new-build sales transactions in Scotland in the month of October 2020.

“This is an increase of 47 transactions (four per cent) on October 2019, indicating a recovery in the level of monthly private-led new housebuilding sales transactions following the reduced levels of activity between April and June 2020 due to COVID-19 measures.

“Latest social sector new housebuilding figures for April to June 2020 show the impact of lockdown on construction activity across this period, with only 407 starts recorded, down 67 per cent on the same quarter in 2019, and 20 completions, down 98 per cent.

“There were 1,918 affordable housing supply homes completed in the latest quarter, October to December 2020, an increase of 861 homes on the previous quarter, and 1,721 homes more than the quarter April to June 2020. This reflects the re-starting of housing supply activity after restrictions on construction and housing market activity were eased from late June onwards.”

And the announcement continues: “The number of affordable homes approved and started also increased over the latest two quarters: approvals between October and December 2020 were over double (1,062 homes more) the amount in the previous quarter and 1,205 homes more than the quarter from April to June 2020.

“Starts between October and December 2020 were up by 11 per cent (221 homes) on the previous quarter, and by 1,429 homes on April to June 2020.

“The latest annual figures on affordable housing supply also show the impact of COVID-19 on activity levels. In the year to December 2020, there were a total of 10,066 approvals recorded (down 15 per cent, or 1,764 homes, on 2019); 9,806 starts (down 11 per cent, or 1,166 homes); and 6,655 completions (down 30 per cent, or 2,846 homes).”

For more information, read – here – the Housing Statistics Quarterly Update, March 23 2021.

Pictured: New housing, off the Maybury Road, Edinburgh

Picture credit: PlaceDesignScotland