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Information on the number of new dwellings started, where building has commenced and those completed for April 2019 to March 2021.

Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on this release

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, quarterly data for January to March of 2020 and annual data for 2019-20 was not published. In addition, quarterly data for 2020-21 was not collected or published. See the statement for further information.

The onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in March 2020 and the subsequent public health measures introduced by the UK and Welsh Governments had a substantial impact on the construction industry in the early stages of the pandemic. This will have had an impact on the new house building activity during 2020-21. Further information can be found in the key quality information section of this release.

Main points

  • During 2019-20, the number of new dwellings started increased by 4% compared to the previous year to 6,224 dwellings. However, during 2020-21, the number of new dwellings started decreased by 31% to 4,314.
  • The number of new dwellings completed in 2019-20 was 6,037 and was up 5% on the previous year. However, in 2020-21, the number of new dwellings completed decreased by 24% to 4,616.
  • During 2019-20 and 2020-21, private sector completions comprised 79% and 74% of all completions respectively with social sector dwellings comprising the rest.
  • A total of 1,215 social sector dwellings were completed during 2020-21. Of these, 93% (1,130 dwellings) were completed by RSLs and the remaining 7% (85 dwellings) were completed by local authorities (or their subsidiaries).
  • In both 2019-20 and 2020-21, 3 bedroom properties saw the most completions with 40% of all completions in 2019-20 and 38% in 2020-21.


The decreases in both starts and completions will be influenced by quarterly fluctuations including the timing of starts and completions on large sites in some authorities and seasonal factors such as holidays and weather. These statistics are not seasonally adjusted.

The information is based on the reports of local authority building inspectors and the National House Building Council (NHBC), a private approved inspector. It does not include information from other private approved inspectors.

It is sometimes difficult for building control officers who record the data to identify the intended final tenure of the property (the basis for the tenure information). This may lead to an under-count of social sector new house building and an over-count for the private sector. Therefore the tenure data should be treated with caution.

We also publish separate statistics on affordable housing provision. The figures cover all additional affordable housing units, whether through new build, purchase, acquisition, leasing or conversion of existing dwellings.


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Craig Mcleod

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