Every year we estimate how many homes there are in Scotland, and also how many of those homes are either empty, or second homes. Our estimates are then used for planning things like housing and local services.

Our latest estimates suggest there are now 2.58 million homes in Scotland. For every hundred homes in Scotland, we estimate that 96 are occupied all year, one is a second home occupied for only part of the year, and three are empty homes which are not being occupied at all. Empty and second homes are more common in some parts of the country than others. For example, remote rural areas have a higher proportion of both second homes and empty homes than urban areas.

Number of occupied dwellings, empty homes and second homes in Scotland

As you might expect, our records show that the number of homes in Scotland is growing every year. This is because new homes are constantly being completed, while only a small number are being demolished.

Interestingly, our latest estimates still suggest that the rate of growth in the number of homes is slower than it was before the economic downturn began in 2007. This could be important when considering future housing needs in Scotland. Our next set of estimates will be out next summer, when we will be able to see whether this trend has continued during 2017.

For more information about dwellings in Scotland, including estimates of the number of dwellings by type (e.g. flats, detached), council tax band, and number of rooms, please go to our website. You will also find full publication, infographic summary and interactive data visualisation for the 2016 household estimates on our website.


Amelia Brereton, Assistant Statistician

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