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Stability in new housing supply

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Total new housing supply in Scotland remained similar in the last year, dropping slightly by 82 homes (0.5%) from 17,077 in 2014-15 to 16,995 in 2015-16.

Two sets of housing statistics have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The Annual Housing Statistics update includes information on total housing supply, local authority house sales, lettings and evictions, stock and vacancy rates, supported housing, housing lists, scheme of assistance and houses in multiple occupation. The Quarterly Housing Statistics update includes information on new house building, affordable housing supply and right to buy applications and sales.

Stability in new housing supply

Key findings from the Annual Housing statistics update;
 

  • New housing supply: New housing supply (new build, refurbishment and conversions) decreased by 0.5% between 2014-15 and 2015-16, from 17,077 to 16,995 homes. ​

Housing supply figures include private-led and social sector new builds, as well as conversions and rehabilitations. Private-led new builds increased by 408 homes (3%), rehabilitations increased by 233 homes (104%) and conversions increased by 40 homes (6%), whilst housing association new builds decreased by 744 homes (24%) and local authority new builds decreased by 19 homes (2%). 

  • New house building: In 2015-16, 15,854 new homes were completed in Scotland, a decrease of 2% on the 16,209 completions in the previous year. During the same time-period the number of homes started rose by 4% from, 16,246 to 16,910, the highest number of starts since 2008-09.
  • Local authority housing stock: At 31st March 2016, there were 316,553 local authority dwellings in Scotland, a small decrease of 452 units (0.1%) from the previous year.
  • Right to Buy: The Right to Buy scheme closed to all new applicants on 31 July 2016. Throughout 2015-16 there were 5,006 applications to local authorities (excluding stock transfer authorities), 40% more than the previous year. Throughout the same time period for all local authorities (including stock transfer authorities) there were 2,088 sales under Right to Buy, 14% more than the previous year. 
  • Vacant stock: At 31st March 2016, local authorities reported 6,181 units of vacant stock, of which 37% consisted of normal letting stock. This represents 1% of all normal letting stock, and is down from 6,515 the previous year.
  • Lettings: During 2015-16 there were 26,258 permanent lettings made, a decrease of 3% compared to 27,006 lettings in the previous year. Lets to homeless households represented 38% of all lets made by local authorities in 2015-16, a total of 9,913 lettings to homeless households, which is a decrease of 5% on the 10,390 lettings in 2014-15.
  • Scheme of assistance: There were 10,753 scheme of assistance grants paid to householders in 2015-16, 1,527 (17%) more than in 2014-15. Spend on scheme of assistance grants totalled £31.8 million, £2.3 million (8%) more than in 2014-15. The majority of grants in 2015-16 were for disabled adaptions, 6,482 grants totalling £23.1 million.
  • Houses in multiple occupation: In 2015-16, 8,852 applications were received in respect of the mandatory licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation. At 31st March 2016 there were 15,034 licences in force, representing an increase of 1% over the previous year.
  • Evictions: Eviction actions against local authority tenants resulted in 1,300 evictions or abandoned dwellings in 2015-16 (859 evictions, 441 abandoned dwellings). This is up by 7%, or 85 actions of evictions or abandonments, on the 1,215 in 2014-15. 
  • Housing Lists: Household applications held on local authority or common housing register lists decreased by 5% or 8,211 households to 167,122 at March 2016, the eighth consecutive annual decrease. 

Key findings from the Quarterly Housing statistics update;

  • In the private sector 2,686 homes were started between January and March 2016, 13% (413 homes) less than in the same quarter in 2015. This brings the total for 2015-16 to 12,497, 1% more than in 2014-15. The number of homes started gives an indication of the number of future completions but various factors, including the type of property and size of site, can influence when these homes will be completed.
  • Meanwhile 2,872 private sector homes were completed between January and March 2016, 20% (479 homes) more than in the same quarter in 2015. This brings the financial year total to 12,396, 3% up on 2014-15.
  • In the social sector (local authorities and housing associations) 635 homes were started between April and June 2016 bringing the total for the year to end June 2015 to 4,530, 17% more than in the year to end June 2015.
  • During the same period 883 social sector homes were completed bringing the total for the year to end June 2016 to 3,834, 1% more than in the year to end June 2015.

Stability in new housing supply

Figures on the Affordable Housing Supply Programme are also available on a quarterly basis. 

  • A total of 1,526 affordable homes were completed in the quarter between April and June 2016, a 28% increase, or 332 more homes, than the same quarter last year. This brings the total for the year to end June 2016 to 6,850, up 1% on the 6,796 completions in the previous year.
  • Between April and June 2016 a total of 1,046 affordable homes were approved. This is 122 (13%) more than in the same quarter in the previous year. It brings the total for the year to end June 2016 to 8,067 approvals, up 26% on the previous year.
  • There were 1,534 affordable homes started in the quarter between April and June 2016, a 16% increase, or 216 more homes than the same quarter last year. This brings the total for the year to end June 2016 to 7,898, up 22% on the 6,473 starts in the previous year.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Background

The statistical bulletins and web tables associated with this publication can be found as follows:

Housing Statistics for Scotland 2016: Annual Key Trends Summary:
http://www.gov.scot/stats/bulletins/01244

Housing Statistics for Scotland Quarterly Update (published 13 September 2016):
http://www.gov.scot/stats/bulletins/01243

Associated web tables: 
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS

The statistical bulletins and web tables present information on new house building, public sector house sales, and local authority lettings and evictions, stock and vacancy rates, supported housing, housing lists, scheme of assistance and houses in multiple occupation. 
These statistics are used for a variety of purposes including for monitoring the National Performance Framework Indicator on increasing the number of new homes in Scotland.

The new build, affordable housing supply, and sales web tables are updated each quarter. An explanatory document providing background information on these statistics is also available. The remaining statistics are updated each year, usually in August.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About

Contact Information

SG Communications

SGCommunications@scot.gov.uk

Mark Taylor

mark.taylor@scot.gov.uk

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