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04/06/13 09:46

Publication of Housing statistics for Scotland

This release provides updates to information on new house building and local authority house sales up to 31 March 2013 (Q1) for social sector new build and Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP), or 31 December 2012 (Q4) for other quarterly series. An explanatory document providing background information on the statistics is also available.

Updated housing statistics have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

This release provides updates to information on new house building and local authority house sales up to 31 March 2013 (Q1) for social sector new build and Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP), or 31 December 2012 (Q4) for other quarterly series. An explanatory document providing background information on the statistics is also available.

The key points from the data are as follows:

New house building:

All Sectors

• There were 3,755 new build completions in Q4 of 2012 – a 9% decrease compared to the same quarter in 2011. This is slightly lower than in most recent quarters with completions fluctuating around the 4,000 level since mid-2009 although figures do fluctuate from quarter to quarter.

• This brings the total for the year to end December 2012 to 14,877 which is down by 2% compared to the previous year.

• There were 3,144 new build starts in Q4 of 2012 – a 7% decrease compared to the same quarter in 2011. This latest figure is not unusual with the number of houses started each quarter generally fluctuating between around 2,500 and 3,500 since around mid-2009.

• This latest figure brings the total for the year to end December 2012 to 13,541 which is up by 2% compared to the previous year – the first calendar year increase since 2006 but still the 2nd lowest figure on record (since 1980).

Private Sector

• 2,661 private sector led houses were completed in Q4 of 2012. This is in line with recent quarters with between 2,000 to 3,000 completions being typical since mid-2009. The latest quarter’s figure brings the total for the 12 months to end December to 9,862. This is 1% below the 9,935 completions for the year to end December 2011.

• There were 2,524 private sector starts in Q4 of 2012. This is fairly consistent with recent quarters with 2,000 to 3,000 per quarter being typical since mid-2009. This latest figure brings the total for the year to end December 2012 to 10,215. This is 4% higher than for the 12 months to end December 2011.

Housing Association Homes

• Housing association led new build activity is funded through Scottish Government funding programmes. Several changes to these funding programmes in recent years have affected both the trends and seasonal quarterly pattern of housing association new build approvals so care should be taken when making comparisons over time.

• There were 1,143 housing association starts in quarter 1 of 2013, bringing the total for 2012/13 to 1,620. This is a 38% decrease on the 2,593 starts in 2011/12.

• There were 921 housing association completions in quarter 1 of 2013, bringing the total for 2012/13 to 3,244. This is a 32% decrease on 4,776 completions in 2011/12.

Local Authority Homes

• Local Authority led new build activity is mainly funded through Scottish Government funding programmes. There have been changes to these funding programmes in recent years and so care should be taken when making comparisons over time.

• There were 334 local authority starts in quarter 1 of 2013, bringing the annual total up to 1,161 for the year to end March 2013. This is a 45% increase on the 798 starts in the year to end March 2012.

• There were 248 local authority completions in quarter 1 of 2013, bringing the annual total up to 965 for the year to end March 2013. This is a 13% decrease on 1,114 in the year to end March 2012.

• There were virtually no new local authority house completions between 2003 and 2007. Since then the number has gradually increased, peaking at almost 400 per quarter at the start of 2012. In the last few quarters this has fallen to an average of around 250 completions per quarter.

Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP)

• Changes in the funding programme in 2011 and 2012 have impacted on the timing of affordable housing activity as well as the level of activity. As a result care should be taken when making comparisons over time.

• In 2013 Q1 there were 1,605 starts bringing the total number of starts in the financial year to March 2013 to 6,484 – a 52% increase on the 4,279 starts in the financial year to end March 2012.

• In total there were 6,009 completions in the financial year to end March 2013 – down by 13% compared to the 6,882 completions in the financial year to end March 2012.

Sales of local authority dwellings

• Sales of local authority dwellings fell by 18% in the twelve months to end December 2012 compared to the same period to end December 2011 (from 1,205 to 990). This continues the declining trend in sales observed over recent years since the introduction of the modernised Right to Buy in 2002. There were 297 sales in 2012 Q4.


Notes to editors

The web tables can be found as follows:

New build and AHSP tables: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS/NewBuild
Local Authority house sales: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS/Sales

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

The supply statistics break down new build construction activity into private and social sector starts and completions, with the social sector further broken down between local authority and registered social landlord (housing association). The figures are as recorded by Local Authority admin systems and the Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) admin system. Private sector construction activity includes not only homes built for private sale but also some homes which are used in the affordable housing sector and self-build activity by local builders.

The new build, AHSP and sales tables are updated each quarter. A range of other statistics are updated annually and are available on the Housing Statistics for Scotland website:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS