The number of new homes completed by housing associations fell by almost a third last year, according to new figures.

Official statistics show a total of 1,929 homes were finished in 2017, down 29% on the previous year.

Overall, social sector completions were down 12% last year, with the fall in the number of housing association properties being finished offset by a rise in council house completions.

Local authorities finished 1,500 homes in 2017, up 26% on 2016 figures.

Overall, affordable housing completions – which also takes in affordable rent and ownership properties alongside homes for social rent such as council and housing association properties – fell by 8% in 2017.

However affordable housing approvals increased by 7% and the number of affordable homes started last year was up 12% on the previous year.

The number of social rent starts, including council and housing association houses, rose by 17%.

Communities Secretary Angela ConstanceCommunities Secretary Angela Constance (Jane Barlow/PA)

Communities Secretary Angela Constance said the Scottish Government was on track to meet its target of at least 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.

She said: “Ensuring everyone has access to a safe, warm and affordable place to call home is at the heart of our ambition for a fairer Scotland.

“These latest figures show that we have now delivered nearly 72,500 affordable homes, which includes nearly 50,000 for social rent, since 2007.

“They also highlight that the number of social rented homes being started increased by 17% in the latest year.”

Ms Constance added: “We are committed to ensuring much greater progress, backing that with record levels of investment, with funding of £3 billion – the single biggest investment in, and delivery of, affordable housing since devolution.

“This includes more than £756 million for affordable housing in 2018-19 alone – a 28% increase on the previous year – and all councils have been given long term planning assumptions, totalling £1.75 billion to March 2021.

“That provides the assurance needed to deliver the homes required, and we know that many more developments and proposals are coming through as a result of that.”