Published: 30th Mar 2020

The number of council houses being sold off under the Right to Buy scheme is more than four times higher than it was nine years ago, according to official figures.

Figures published last week by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government reveal that 2,356 homes were sold off under the scheme in the last three months of 2019.

Although this figure is 12% down on the same quarter in 2018, it is four times the figure sold in the final quarter of 2011/12 (566), which was one of the lowest quarters during the financial crisis.

The total number of homes sold off in England in the current financial year now stands at 7,362.

The figures also show councils in England received £211m from Right to Buy sales between October and December 2019, which was 12% lower than the £238m they received in the same quarter the year before.

The average receipt per home was £89,600, which was broadly similar to the same quarter in 2018 (£88,900).

The figures come as the government urges people who are buying, selling or moving home to ‘adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes’ during the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, the Local Government Association (LGA) released figures, which showed tenants have benefited from £4.9 billion in Right to Buy discounts in order to buy their own home since 2012.

According to the LGA, 79,119 homes were sold off between 2012/13 and 2018/19.

And a survey published last year by the National Federation of ALMOS (arms-length management organisations) revealed council-owned housing companies were only able to replace 69% of RTB sales in 2018.

‘We were pleased the government listened to our call to scrap the housing borrowing cap to give councils more freedom to build council homes,’ said the LGA’s housing spokesman, Cllr David Renard, speaking last month.

‘But it makes no sense if these homes are then potentially sold at a heavily discounted price. Protecting council investment in new stock is crucial if we are going to build the homes the country needs.’

Photo Credit – Mastersenaiper (Pixabay)

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