Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said this increase in sales shows both the rising demand from tenants to become homeowners and, crucially, will lead to more affordable homes being built.
In the year to April 2013, 8,398 council and housing association tenants took up their Right to Buy - more than double the sales seen in the previous year and the highest level since 2007.
These, on top of the 2,149 Right to Buy sales seen in the first quarter of this year, take the total sales to date to over 10,000.
This also takes the total numbers of households supported into home ownership through government-backed schemes to nearly 40,000 - further proof that wherever people are in the market, there is help on hand for aspiring homeowners.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
The success of Right to Buy shows how the new reinvigorated scheme is opening up the prospect of home ownership to even more people across the country.
With over 10,000 people taking up the opportunity to buy their council home this year, the demand to make that step onto the housing ladder is clear.
What is more, we’re ploughing the additional money from Right to Buy sales straight back into building more affordable homes.
Whether it’s through Right to Buy, support with mortgages or getting more houses built, we are helping more and more hardworking people to buy somewhere to live and get on in life.
Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said:
For years the Right to Buy was allowed to wither on the vine, with ever-decreasing discounts leaving the prospect of home ownership out of reach for far too many social tenants.
But our reinvigorated scheme has changed that, with increased discounts helping more than 10,000 new homeowners onto the property ladder.
And because we’ve committed to using the additional money raised towards funding new affordable homes for rent, we’re also getting Britain building and will soon have the fastest rate of affordable housebuilding for 2 decades.
Building new affordable homes
The government has already delivered over 150,000 affordable homes over the past three years, with around £23 billion public and private investment planned between 2015 and 2018.
This means the rate of affordable housebuilding will soon be at its highest level for 2 decades.
On top of this, under the reinvigorated Right to Buy receipts from additional sales are being recycled back into the development of new affordable homes for rent.
To date, Right to Buy sales have generated £173 million in additional income, with councils given 3 years in which to invest these funds.
Work has already started across the country on new homes funded in part by Right to Buy receipts. These include:
Barking Council, who are building 172 new affordable homes to rent using Right to Buy receipts
Bassetlaw Council, who are building 127 new affordable homes to rent using Right to Buy receipts
Leicester City Council, who are building 122 new affordable homes to rent using Right to Buy receipts
Wigan Council, who have started building 36 new affordable homes to rent using Right to Buy receipts
In April 2012, Right to Buy discounts were increased to a maximum of £75,000. In London, this increased to a maximum £100,000 from April 2013.
Changes to the eligibility criteria for the Right to Buy, from 5 years to 3 years, are included in the Deregulation Bill which is currently before Parliament.
Right to Buy and Preserved Right to Buy sales accounted for half of all social housing sales in 2012 to 2013. See further details.
Tenants interested in the Right to Buy can find more at www.communities.gov.uk/righttobuy or go to www.facebook.com/righttobuy