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Housing Statistics for Scotland Quarterly Update: New Housebuilding and Affordable Housing Supply (published 27 June 2023)

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6. Affordable housing supply

Affordable Housing Supply Programme statistics reflect the broader supply of affordable homes (i.e. for social rent, affordable rent and affordable home ownership), and include off the shelf purchases and rehabilitations as well as new builds. Latest statistics are available up to the end of March 2023.

The statistics reflect the number of affordable homes delivered that have received some form of government support through loans, grant or guarantees.

Approvals, starts and completions are all measured for the Affordable Housing Supply Programme. Approval is the point at which funding is granted. Starts are recorded when an on-site presence is established to progress site work. Completion measures when the units are delivered and ready for occupation.

  • Social Rent includes Housing Association Rent, Council House Rent as well as Home Owner Support Fund Rent.
  • Other Affordable Rent includes Mid-Market Rent (MMR), National Housing Trust (NHT) Rent as well as other programmes such as the Empty Homes Loan Fund (EHLF) and Rural Homes for Rent (RHfR).
  • Affordable Home Ownership includes Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE), New Supply Shared Equity (NSSE), Shared Ownership (LCHO) as well as other programmes such as Home Owner Support Fund Shared Equity.

Chart 11 below shows that in the year to end March 2023, a total of 10,458 homes were completed, an increase of 7% (701 homes) on the previous year, and the highest annual completions figure since the start of the series in 2000. A total of 6,396 affordable homes were approved, a decrease of 18% (1,424 homes) on the previous year, and 6,987 homes were started, a decrease of 15% (1,240 homes).

Chart 11: In the latest year to end March 2023, the number of affordable homes completed has increased by 7%, whilst the number of homes approved has decreased by 18%, and the number of homes started has decreased by 15%.

 

Table 6 below shows that in the latest quarter January to March 2023, 3,072 homes were approved, 2,539 homes were started, and 3,631 homes were completed. The number of approvals and starts are lower than in the same period in the previous year, down 5% (159 homes) and 19% (605 homes) respectively, however completions were 9% (285 homes) higher.

Table 6: Affordable Housing Supply to March 2023

Affordable housing supply homes

Approvals

Starts

Completions

Quarter Jan to Mar 2017

5,037

3,710

2,256

Quarter Jan to Mar 2018

6,434

3,212

3,324

Quarter Jan to Mar 2019

5,083

3,763

3,768

Quarter Jan to Mar 2020

6,078

4,775

3,502

Quarter Jan to Mar 2021

3,825

4,817

3,205

Quarter Jan to Mar 2022

3,231

3,144

3,346

Quarter Jan to Mar 2023

3,072

2,539

3,631

Change over latest year

-159

-605

285

Change (%) over latest year

-5%

-19%

9%

Year to Mar 2017

10,410

9,442

7,493

Year to Mar 2018

11,626

10,518

8,527

Year to Mar 2019

11,127

10,869

9,566

Year to Mar 2020

12,880

12,039

9,290

Year to Mar 2021

7,885

10,151

6,479

Year to Mar 2022

7,820

8,227

9,757

Year to Mar 2023

6,396

6,987

10,458

Change over latest year

-1,424

-1,240

701

Change (%) over latest year

-18%

-15%

7%

Chart 12 below presents quarterly trends in the number of affordable housing approvals, starts and completions from January 2019 up to end March 2023. The 3,072 affordable homes approved and 2,539 homes started in January to March 2023 are both at levels which are below the same quarters in each of the previous years 2019 to 2021. Meanwhile the 3,631 affordable homes completed in January to March 2023 is higher than in the same quarters in each of the years 2020 to 2022, but lower than 2019.

Chart 12: The number of affordable homes approved, started and completed each quarter, Jan-Mar 2019 to Jan-Mar 2023.

Chart 12: A line chart showing quarterly affordable homes approved, started, and completed in the year to end March 2023, with completions above, and approvals and starts below, the same quarter in 2022.

 

Charts 13 to 15 below present information on trends in affordable housing supply by type.

Chart 13 shows that total affordable housing supply programme approvals decreased by 18% between 2022 and 2023 (years to end March, with decreases in the number of approvals for affordable rent (by 30% or 278 homes), affordable home ownership (by 25% or 250 homes), and social rent (by 15% or 896 homes). In the latest year to end March 2023, social rent approvals have accounted for 78% of all approvals, with other affordable rent and affordable home ownership making up 12% and 10%, respectively.

Chart 13: Affordable housing supply approvals by type, 2013 to 2023.

Chart 13: A bar chart showing the split of the affordable housing supply approvals by social rent, afforadable rent and affordable home ownership.Chart 14 shows that total affordable housing supply programme starts decreased by 15% (1,240 homes) between 2022 and 2023 (years to end March), with decreases in the number starts for social rent (by 18% or 1,132 homes) and affordable home ownership (by 27% or 289 homes), however other affordable rent starts increased by 25% (181 homes). In the latest year to end 2023, social rent starts have accounted for 76% of all starts, with other affordable rent and affordable home ownership making up 13% and 11%, respectively

Chart 14: Affordable housing supply starts by type, 2013 to 2023.

Chart 14: A bar chart showing the split of the affordable housing supply starts by social rent, afforadable rent and affordable home ownership.

Chart 15 shows that total affordable housing supply programme completions increased by 7% (701 homes) between 2022 and 2023 (years to end March), with increases in the number of completions for social rent (by 10% or 767 homes) and other affordable rent (by 20% or 250 homes), whereas completions for affordable home ownership decreased by 27% or 316 homes. In the latest year to end March 2023, social rent completions have accounted for 77% of all completions, with affordable rent and affordable home ownership making up 15% and 8% of the total.

Chart 15: Affordable housing supply completions by type, 2013 to 2023.

Chart 15: A bar chart showing the split of the affordable housing supply completions by social rent, afforadable rent and affordable home ownership.

 

Quarterly affordable housing supply statistics are used to inform progress against Scottish Government affordable housing delivery targets, in which the ambition is to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which at least 70% will be for social rent and 10% will be in remote, rural and island communities.

There have been a total of 11,570 completions so far against the 110,000 target, across the period 23 March 2022 to 31 March 2023, consisting of 9,121 (79%) homes for social rent, 1,548 (13%) for affordable rent, and 901 (8%) for affordable home ownership.

The Scottish Government Affordable Housing Supply Programme policy area webpages include annual Out-Turn Reports, which provide further detailed programme information for each financial year.

Figures on the remote, rural and island communities element of the target are planned to be reported on as part of future annual affordable housing supply out-turn reports, although we are considering whether it is feasible for these figures to also be reported on in this statistical publication.

Affordable housing supply across UK countries

Chart 16 below illustrates how affordable housing supply figures per 10,000 population have varied on a financial year basis across the 2007/08 to 2021/22 period by UK country.

Across the 15 years between 2007/08 and 2021/22, the annual average supply of affordable housing per head of population in Scotland has been 13.9 homes per 10,000 population, higher than England (9.7 homes per 10,000 population), Wales (8.0 homes per 10,000 population), and Northern Ireland (12.7 homes per 10,000 population – average across the years 2010/11 to 2021/22).

Scotland has had a higher rate of supply than all other UK countries in each year but one from 2015/16 to 2021/22, with the rate dropping below the rate for Northern Ireland in the year 2020/21.

Chart 16: The 10,458 affordable homes completed in Scotland in the latest financial year 2022/23 equates to a rate of 19.1 homes delivered per 10,000 population.

Chart 16:  A line chart showing the annual comparison of Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales' affordable housing supply completions per 10,000 population.

 

In addition to the differences in total affordable supply between each country, there are also some differences in the use of different affordable housing products within the mix of overall affordable housing in each country. For example, in England in recent years there has been a greater use of affordable / intermediate rent compared to social rent. Therefore when looking over the four years to 2021/22, in England there have been on average 5.1 affordable / intermediate rent homes completed per 10,000 head of population and 1.2 social rented homes completed 10,000 per-head of population. This compares to a rate of 1.9 for affordable rent homes and a rate of 11.7 for social rented homes in Scotland.

Note that the statistics for England and Wales both include developer-funded Section 106 supply, although for England it is thought that some will be missed as local authorities are not aware of it all. Northern Ireland does not currently have an equivalent mechanism. Data for Scotland include Section 75 units receiving some form of government funding. Data are not available to estimate the number of affordable homes delivered without central government funding in Scotland, but it is thought that the numbers of these homes may be relatively low based on current estimates of the number of funded Affordable and Section 75 homes being delivered.

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