This document provides a summary of the updated Housing Statistics for Scotland web tables, which present comprehensive data on housing activity in Scotland. These are interactive tables and present data up to 2010-11 (for annual data), 30 June 2011 (for social sector new build and affordable housing quarterly series) or 31 March 2011 for other quarterly series.
The tables include information on new housing supply, public sector stock and house sales, local authority housing management, supported housing and houses in multiple occupation ( HMO).
- New housing supply: new housing supply (new build, refurbishment and conversions) decreased by 8% between 2009-10 and 2010-11, from 18,629 to 17,112 units. This was driven by a decrease in private completions. The number of new housing association homes completed also fell but the number of local authority new build completions increased from 384 to 583. These data are the basis for National Indicator number 32 in the Scottish Government's 2007 Spending Review. This indicator is also presented on the Scotland Performs website http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/scotPerforms/indicators which provides the latest information on how Scotland is performing on a range of topics affecting all aspects of Scottish life.
- New house building: In 2010-11, there were 16,224 completions in Scotland, a decrease of 6% on the previous year. Starts also fell, with an 11% drop from 15,117 in 2009-10 to just 13,456 in 2010-11.
- Affordable Housing: In 2010-11 there were 7,231 units completed which were funded by the Affordable Housing Investment Programme ( AHIP) - this figure is 11% down on the previous year, however it is the second highest figure in the series.
- Public sector housing stock: At 31 March 2011, there were 319,878 local authority dwellings in Scotland, a 1% decrease from the previous year.
- Sales of local authority dwellings: Sales of local authority dwellings fell by 10% in 2010-11, from 1,637 to 1,474. This continues the declining trend in sales observed over recent years, following the introduction of the modernised Right to Buy, which came into effect on 30 September 2002.
- Public sector vacant stock: At 31 March 2011, local authorities reported 7,667 units of vacant stock, of which 31% consisted of normal letting stock. This represents 1% of all normal letting stock, and is down slightly from the previous year.
- Lettings: During 2010-11 there were 26,222 permanent lettings of local authority dwellings, a decrease of 8% on the previous year. Lets to homeless households represented 45% of all lets made by local authorities in 2010-11.
- Evictions: Eviction actions against local authority tenants resulted in 1,157 evictions or abandoned dwellings in 2010-11 (686 evictions, 471 abandoned dwellings). This is a decrease of 8% on the previous year.
- Housing Lists: Applications held on local authority lists decreased slightly to 194,992 in 2011.
- Houses in multiple occupation: In 2010-11, 7,778 applications were received in respect of the mandatory licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation. At 31 March 2011 there were 13,605 licences in force, representing an increase of 15% over the previous year.
New housing supply
Data on new housing supply informs National Indicator 32 (Increase the rate of new house building) which is assessed as part of the Scotland Performs framework, and comprises the following elements:
- new house building: houses completed by or for housing associations, local authorities or private developers for below market rent or low cost home ownership; houses completed for market sale by private developers;
- refurbishment: houses acquired by housing associations and refurbished either for rent or low cost home ownership. Refurbishment of private dwellings funded wholly or partly through the AHIP; and
- conversion: net new dwellings created by conversion from non-housing to housing use or by alterations to existing dwellings in all tenures.
The supply of new housing decreased by 8% between 2009-10 and 2010-11, driven by a drop in private house building - completions in the private sector were at their lowest level for three decades. Housing association completions remained above 5,000 but were down on the previous year. Local authority completions increased from the previous year from 384 to 583.
Table 1: Components of new housing supply in Scotland
|Private new build||Housing association new build||Local authority new build||Rehabilitation||Conversion||Total housing supply|
The above table contains the most up-to-date figures at the time of publication. Please note that these figures may differ slightly from those previously reported due to revised data emerging from councils.
The components of housing supply within each local authority area for 2010-11 are shown in Chart 2. Glasgow City accounted for 12% of Scotland's new housing with almost 2,000 new units, the majority of these being Housing Association. Aberdeenshire built the most private sector homes with over 1,200 completions. There was a significant amount of Local Authority new build in the Lothians, with East Lothian, West Lothian and Midlothian contributing two thirds of Scotland's new build completions.
There were 591 conversions from non-housing to housing and 158 of these were in Glasgow City. In addition 297 housing association units were brought back into use through refurbishment.
Historic trends in new build showed peaks in the early 1950s and late 1960s resulting primarily from programmes of post-war reconstruction and slum clearances. From a high point of about 41,000 to 43,000 completions a year, mainly in the public sector, the level of new build fell during the early 1980s to under 20,000 completions per year. There was then an overall upward trend to just over 25,000 completions per year by 2007, largely due to private sector new build which represented around 84% of all completions. The remainder of new build was predominantly by housing associations. However in the latest three years there has been a significant decrease back to levels not witnessed since the early 1980s (Chart 3).
In 2010-11, there were 16,224 completions in Scotland, a decrease of 6% on the previous year, when 17,267 had been completed. Starts in 2010-11 also fell, with an 11% drop from 15,117 in 2009-10 to just 13,456 in 2010-11.
There was a 7% decrease in private sector completions and a 9% decrease in starts since last year. The recession has hit the private house building industry particularly hard, with 51% and 57% falls in completions and starts respectively since 2007-8. Private starts for 2010-11 stand at 8,679, the lowest level for more than three decades. Housing association completions, despite falling slightly from last year, remain comparatively high at over 5,000 units per year.
After years of very few new local authority housing completions in Scotland the numbers have started to increase due to the Scottish Government's introduction in 2009-10 of the Council House Building programme which has provided a major funding boost to date of £80 million. Local authority completions reached 583 in 2010-11. There were 1,408 local authority starts in 2010-11 and this was the highest figure since 1988.
Chart 4 shows the change in completion rates per 1,000 households between 2009-10 and 2010-11, for local authority areas. The national completion rate fell from 7.4 to 6.9 between the two years.
The Scottish Government's Affordable Housing Investment Programme ( AHIP) funded both housing for rent and for low cost home ownership between 2000-01 and 2010-11. The majority of funding was provided to Registered Social Landlords ( RSLs) although the AHIP also provided funding to others including individuals, councils and private developers. Further information on the scope of AHIP and detailed statistics can be found on the Scottish Government's website: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS/NewBuild
The number of units provided through the AHIP programme since 2000-01 are illustrated in the charts below.
Chart 5 above shows that in 2010-11 there were 7,231 units completed through all AHIP activity - this figure is down on the previous year but is the second highest figure recorded since the AHIP programme began.
In 2010-11 there were 6,830 units approved through all AHIP activity. This represented a decrease of 21% from the previous year but the latest figure is in line with the years prior to 2009-10. As £120 million of planned affordable housing spend was brought forward from 2010-11 into 2008-09 and 2009-10 record affordable housing approvals were achieved in 2009-10.
In the year to end June 2011 there was a 9% decrease in completions (to 6,944) compared with the previous year. For the latest quarter available, to end June 2011, completions are down 22% on the same period in 2010 and approvals are down 56%.
For the latest two years data on actual starts was also recorded - there were 7,625 starts in 2010-11 which was down from 10,212 in 2009-10.
Other Relevant Sources
Statistics on new house building in the other UK nations can be found through the following link to the Department for Communities and Local Government website:
Statistics on the number of affordable homes receiving planning consents can be found through the following link:
Stock By Tenure
The last quarter of a century has seen a significant change in housing tenure. In 1981, less than 40% of dwelling stock was owner occupied. By 2010, this had risen to 61% (Chart 7). Although there has been a similar pattern of change across much of Europe, the change has been particularly dramatic in Scotland.
Mirroring changes in cultural attitudes toward home ownership, two structural factors have contributed to this shift: the introduction of the right to buy for public authority tenants in 1979 coupled with the decline of local authority new build, and the increased contribution of private sector house building.
Other Relevant Sources
The Scottish Household Survey website presents information on housing stock by tenure. Chapter 3 on Housing contains tables on tenure of household: by year, by household type, by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, by Urban Rural Classification and by length of time at current address:
Statistics on housing stock in the other UK nations can be found through the following link to the Department for Communities and Local Government website:
Local Authority  Housing Stock
Local authority stock levels have been decreasing each year since the 1980s. This is mainly due to tenants buying their homes under right to buy coupled with a decline in the number of new local authority dwellings being built, as well as community ownership programmes whereby a public authority transfers either all or part of its housing stock and management function to RSLs.
The New Towns established during the 40s, 50s and 60s were wound up in the mid 90s, with most of the stock being transferred to other public authorities. Between 1990 and 2005, Scottish Homes transferred about 75,000 units previously owned by the Scottish Special Housing Association to housing associations and co-operatives.
During 2003, three councils transferred their stock to RSLs (Dumfries & Galloway, Glasgow City and Scottish Borders). While the decrease in housing stock had been running at 3-4% per year since the late 1990s, primarily due to right to buy sales, the transfers resulted in the loss of over 20% of the total stock. Argyll & Bute and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar transferred their stock in late 2006, and Inverclyde transferred its stock in December 2007. Together, these resulted in the loss of a further 4% of stock.
Stock figures for RSLs in 2010-11 have not yet been published by the Scottish Housing Regulator. Local authority stock levels have decreased by 1% from the previous year to 319,878 units. Figures for social sector stock in 2010 showed that of the 596,000 units, 54% was owned by local authorities. This represents a substantial change since the mid 1990s when public authorities owned nearly 90% of the 777,000 units of social rented stock. The increased contribution of registered social landlords to the social rented sector is reflected in their rising stock levels since the late 1990s. Chart 8 below shows recent trends in the ownership of social rented housing stock.
Sales of social sector housing to sitting tenants
The introduction of right to buy legislation in 1979 had a substantial impact on the profile of Scottish housing. Over the years, nearly half a million public sector properties have been sold under the Right to Buy scheme (Chart 9). The annual rate of sales to sitting tenants peaked at just under 40,000 in 1989, at the height of the housing boom. It then fell rapidly in the early 1990s as the housing market crashed, settling at around 15,000 per year from the mid 1990s onwards. Legislation introduced as part of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 then resulted in significant changes in right to buy terms for new tenants from 2002-03.
After a small upturn in 2002-03, sales have declined consistently to a current level of 1,836 public authority right to buy sales for 2010-11 (including local authorities with total stock transfers). Excluding stock transfer local authorities there were 1,474 right to buy sales, which was 10% down on the previous year. This decrease is to be expected because, following the change in legislation, new tenants are on modernised terms which in most cases means they could not buy until October 2007 at the earliest, and this on less favourable terms than previously.
Up to and including 2010-11 there have been just under 2,300 sales of public authority housing under modernised terms and in the latest year 16% of sales were under modernised terms. This proportion has been steadily rising since their introduction in 2002-03, but this is due to the consistent fall in old terms right to buy rather than any increase in modernised sales.
The scale of sales to sitting tenants since the inception of the Right to Buy scheme in 1979 is shown in Chart 9.
Local authorities can grant pressured area designation for specified localities, resulting in the suspension of the right to buy for tenancies with a modernised right to buy entitlement in local authority and registered social landlord properties for up to five years. Currently, there are 13 pressured area designations and several local authorities plan to make further designations. Changes to the Right to Buy rules were made in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2011. The Act included provisions to end the Right to Buy for new supply social housing and for new tenants. It also introduced more flexibility and local control over the designation of pressured areas.
Chart 10, below, shows the numbers of sales in each local authority under the old and modernised terms for 2010-11. This chart includes sales of former council houses in local authorities which transferred their stock to housing associations. Glasgow City had the highest number of sales at 197, followed by North Lanarkshire at 170.
Public authority vacant stock
Public authority dwellings can be vacant for a variety of reasons, such as being part of a planned disposal or modernisation/repair programme, or in low demand areas. At 31 March 2011 local authorities reported 7,667 units of vacant stock, down from 9,756 the previous year.
Of this, 37% was awaiting demolition or sale, 15% was in a low demand area, 11% was part of a modernisation programme, and a further 6% was used as temporary accommodation for the homeless.
The remaining 31% of vacant stock was normal letting stock, which represents 1% of all local authority normal letting stock.
Vacant stock in each local authority area (except those which have transferred their stock (information on vacant RSL stock is published by the Scottish Housing Regulator) is shown in Chart 11 below. This shows vacant stock, by reason for vacancy, as a proportion of all local authority housing stock.
The length of time that properties have been vacant depends on the reason for the vacancy. Normal letting stock tends to be empty for less time than other types of vacant stock. For example, at March 2011, 30% of vacant letting stock had been vacant for less than 2 weeks, and only 1% had been vacant for over two years. Of stock awaiting demolition however, only 0.1% had been vacant for less than two weeks, and 40% had been vacant for over two years.
Other Relevant Sources
The National Records for Scotland ( NRS) produce statistics on occupied and vacant dwellings for all sectors each year at local authority and data zone level:
Supported Social Sector Housing
Supported Housing is provided by both local authorities and housing associations. In addition, councils provide housing support services, following on from the former 'Supporting People' programme, to help meet specific housing needs of older and other vulnerable people to give them the opportunity to continue to live in their own homes. Housing for people with variable needs is currently mainly classified as very sheltered, sheltered, medium dependency, wheelchair and ambulant disabled, although figures can vary from year to year as dwellings may be adapted to suit the particular needs of tenants, or re-classified by providers.
The amount of very sheltered accommodation showed consistent increases, rising from about 719 in 1996 to 5,320 in 2010. Figures for sheltered accommodation remained fairly constant between 1996 and 2010 at around 33,000-35,000 units. The less specialised medium dependency housing has shown an overall drop from 17,600 to 12,800 units since 1996. Housing adapted for wheelchair use by disabled people has increased from 2,300 in 1996 to 6,300 in 2010.
RSL special needs housing figures for 2010-11 have not yet been published by the Scottish Housing Regulator. Local authority figures at 31 March 2011 show that sheltered and very sheltered housing numbers are down slightly on those recorded in 2010.
Chart 12 shows the 2010 provision of social housing for older people in relation to the number of people aged 65 and over living in each local authority area. Dundee City had the most provision with 147 such houses per 1,000 of the population aged 65 and over.
Other Relevant Sources
The Scottish House Condition Survey ( SHCS) is the only national survey of housing and households undertaken in Scotland. It combines both an interview with occupants and a physical inspection of dwellings to build up a picture of Scotland's occupied housing stock which covers all types of households and dwellings across the entire country - whether owned or rented, flats or houses.
The Scottish Health Survey ( SHeS) provides a detailed picture of the health of the Scottish population in private households and is designed to make a major contribution to the monitoring of health in Scotland. It is essential for the Scottish Government's forward planning, for identifying gaps in health services provision and for identifying which groups are at particular risk of future ill-health.
Local authority lettings
Mirroring the falling stock levels, the number of local authority lettings decreased each year throughout the 2000s (Chart 13) until 2009-10 where there was an increase. During 2010-11 there were 26,222 permanent lettings made, a decrease of 8% compared to the previous year.
The proportion of lets allocated to homeless applicants is one of the key indicators in measuring local authorities' capacity to respond to changes in homelessness legislation in relation to removing the distinction between priority and non-priority need in 2012. In 2010-11, 45% of all local authority lettings made were to homeless households which represented a slight increase from 2009-10. These figures represent a substantial increase compared to the situation at the start of the decade (17% in 2001-02). In fact, of lets made to new tenants, over half are now allocated to homeless applicants (55% in 2010-11) (Chart 14).
Other Relevant Sources
The Scottish Government publishes a range of information on Homelessness, including the number of lets for homeless households, collected through the HL1 return:
Figures on social sector lettings and other statistics for the social sector as a whole can be found on the Scottish Government website through the following link:
Local authority evictions
Local authority tenancy terminations ( i.e. evictions plus abandoned dwellings) as a result of eviction actions remained fairly stable over recent years at around 0.6% of normal letting stock but declined in the latest two years to around 0.4% (Chart 15). Within this, the number of evictions of local authority tenants has fallen by 8% this year, from 748 in 2009-10 to 686 in 2010-11. This currently represents about 6% of all cases proceeding to court. Eviction actions resulting in abandoned dwellings have fallen from 514 cases to 471 in the latest year.
Across local authorities, there is considerable variation in the rate of evictions or abandoned dwellings in relation to normal letting stock levels (Chart 16). In 2010-11, East Ayrshire council had the highest eviction/abandoned dwelling rate at 13 per 1000 units of letting stock and these were all evictions. Orkney did not have any evictions or abandonments.
There is also considerable variation between local authorities in the proportions of evictions and abandoned dwellings. For example, eviction actions in urban local authorities tend to result in a higher proportion of abandoned properties than in rural areas.
Other Relevant Sources
Section 11 legislation gives local authorities early notice of households at risk of homelessness due to eviction and places a duty on landlords (except local authority landlords) and creditors to notify the relevant local authority when they raise proceedings for possession or serve certain other notices. Statistics on this can be found on the Scottish Government website:
Local authorities vary in the way in which they operate and manage applications for housing and allocations, with some holding separate lists for waiting and transfer applicants and others not distinguishing. In recent years, a number of local authorities have begun to operate Common Housing Registers with Housing Associations in the area, meaning that a household may be allocated to any social rented housing. Of councils who switched from operating their own list to a Common Housing Register, there was little increase in numbers so, in these regions, applications to the council only register gave a fairly close indication of the numbers for the whole social sector.
At 31 March 2011, 194,992 applications were recorded for Scottish local authority owned housing, a 2% decrease from 2010 (see Chart 17). While numbers of applications are recorded accurately within each authority, there is difficulty in recording actual numbers of people wishing to access all social housing and also in determining their current tenure. In addition to the inevitable double-counting of people who apply to more than one local authority, households often apply for both council and RSL housing in their desired area. They may no longer need a social house as they take up tenancies with other housing providers or for other reasons but may not be removed from the housing list immediately.
Other Relevant Sources
Official statistics obtained from an Omnibus Survey carried out in February 2011 estimate the number of households which contain someone who is currently on a social housing list. These statistics provide an estimate which eliminates the double counting included in the administrative data collected annually from councils and housing associations. The excel tables can be accessed through the following link:
Houses in multiple occupation
The number of licences in force has increased year on year since the introduction of the mandatory licensing scheme in 2001. The most recent figures for 2011 show 13,605 licences in force at 31 March, 15% higher than the previous year. 78% of the licences are in force in just four local authority areas - Aberdeen City, The City of Edinburgh, Dundee City and Glasgow City. 40% of Scotland's HMO licences operate in The City of Edinburgh alone.
There were 7,778 applications received in 2010-11, 1% fewer than the year before. 21% of these were new applications, and the remainder were applications for licence renewals.
Chart 18 below shows the number of licences in force at 31 March 2011, by the type of property. Flats or houses to let are by far the largest HMO type (70%), although specific student accommodation within halls of residence has been increasing recently and houses a significant number of people.