The number of households in Scotland has reached a record high as the country’s population grows and more people choose to live alone, official statistics have revealed.
There were an estimated 2.46 million households north of the Border in 2017, an increase of six per cent over the last 10 years, with the number increasing in each council area.
Over a third are home to just one person, with more than 900,000 Scots living without friends or family, figures published by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) revealed.
The number of households containing three or more people has declined from 747,000 at the turn of the century to 695,000 last year.
The rise in overall households is partly due to Scotland’s growing population, but also because people are increasingly living alone, or with fewer other people. Households consisting of only one person have been the most common type in Scotland since 2010.
Of the 2.6m dwellings north of the Border, three per cent (79,200 dwellings) were empty, and a further one per cent (25,700 dwellings) were second homes.
Empty and second homes are concentrated in different parts of the country. For example, remote rural areas have a higher percentage of empty and second homes than urban areas.
In 2013, the Scottish Government introduced legislation which allows councils to increase the Council Tax charges on certain long-term empty properties.
Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “As the statutory housing and planning authority for their area, local authorities are responsible for assessing housing need and demand and setting out how the requirement for housing will be met, through their local housing strategy and local development plan, including the scale and location of housing land and the size and type of housing required.
“The Scottish Government is investing more than £3 billion to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes over the lifetime of this Parliament – a 76 per cent increase on our previous 5-year investment. In the coming years, funding allocated to councils for affordable housing will continue to rise, bringing the overall funding to £1.79 billion over the three years to end March 2021.”