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Rise in New Build Home Completions

The latest Quarterly Housing Statistics from Scotland’s Chief Statistician have revealed that 16,309 new build homes were completed in the 12 months to September 2016. This is an increase of 1% on the 16,152 homes completed in the previous year.

New Build Starts and Completions

There were apparently increases in the number of new build completions over the year to end September 2016 for private-led new builds (up by 516 homes or 4% on the previous year) and local authority new builds (up by 126 homes or 12%), when compared to the previous year, with a decrease for housing association new builds (down by 485 homes or 16% on the previous year).

The total number of new build starts over the year to end September 2016 amounted to 16,870, which is a decrease of 880 homes, or 5%, on the 17,750 starts in the previous year. There were increases in the number of housing association approvals (up by 857 homes or 33%) and local authority starts (up by 108 homes or 7%), whilst private-led new build starts decreased by 1,845 homes (14%), when compared to the previous year.

Quarterly Figures

Looking at the three month period between July and September 2016, the figures show that there were 3,744 new build homes were completed over the quarter; an 8% decrease on the same quarter in 2015. In addition, there were 4,322 new build homes were started; 3% more than the same quarter in 2015.

More Affordable Homes

The Scottish Government has highlighted that the quarterly statistics contain good news for low income families and first time buyers, as more affordable new homes were approved last year.

In total, 8,840 affordable homes were approved in 2016, which includes houses for both the social rental and home ownership market and is an increase of 20% on the previous year. Meanwhile, approvals for new build social rented properties were up 17% in 2016, to 5,101 properties.

The figures were published as Housing Minister Kevin Stewart confirmed £70 million funding for 2017/18 for the Scottish Government’s Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme to help first time buyers and priority groups buy a property. This will enable a further 1,700 people to buy a home.

“Ensuring access to good quality and affordable housing is a key priority for the Scottish Government, therefore it is encouraging that 20% more properties were approved and started last year,” commented the Housing Minister.

“As part of our efforts to increase affordable housing supply, we are determined to give targeted help to those seeking to move into home ownership,” he said. “Over the past decade our OMSE scheme has helped more than 8,700 people on low to moderate incomes to buy a home. I am delighted that the 2017/18 scheme will welcome new applications from April.”

“Alongside our commitment to deliver 50,000 more affordable homes over the next five years – with 35,000 available for social rent – this will all contribute to increasing the availability of affordable homes across Scotland,” he added.

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