News story

Right to Buy sales double

New figures today reveal a surge in the numbers of aspiring homeowners taking up the Right to Buy their council home.

Launched in April, the reinvigorated Right to Buy offers eligible tenants discounts of up to £75,000 off the value of their home, 3 times the level of previous discounts in some areas.

Today’s data shows Right to Buy sales doubled from 1,041 between July and September 2012, to 2,010 between October and December of that year.

This means 3,495 council-owned properties have been sold to tenants under Right to Buy since the reinvigorated scheme was launched in April - a third more than in the whole of the previous year, and the highest number of sales since 2007.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said the Right to Buy had “opened the door to homeownership” for thousands of tenants.

But he added that these figures only account for sales of council-owned properties, and on top of this eligible housing association tenants can also exercise their preserved Right to Buy - helping even more people realise their dream of home ownership.

Surge in Right to Buy sales

Seventy-two councils have seen increases in sales of more than half on last year, with some seeing even bigger increases in their areas. These include:

  • Dacorum - 34 sales since April 2012, compared to 10 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 240%)
  • Welwyn Hatfield - 40 sales since April 2012, compared to 10 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 300%)
  • Wandsworth - 28 sales since April 2012, compared to 2 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 1,300%)

These 3,495 sales have generated £210 million in gross income which, under the reinvigorated Right to Buy, will be recycled back into new affordable homes for rent.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said:

“The reinvigorated Right to Buy has opened the door to home ownership for thousands of tenants across the country and I’m delighted to see so many taking up this opportunity.

“But from the 200,000 hits on our website, to the councils that report to me the surge they’ve seen in applications, I know there are many more that want to follow in their footsteps.

“I would urge any tenant aspiring to buy their home to contact their council or visit the website to find out how they can take their first step onto the property ladder.”

Examples of people who’ve benefited from the Right to Buy include:

  • Mr and Mrs McLeod, who benefited from a £30,000 discount to buy their 3 bedroom home in Durham. The move has given them the financial security they wanted for their 2 disabled sons
  • Ms Wilson, who was able to buy the Wandsworth home she shares with her partner and 2 children, thanks to a £75,000 discount
  • Mr Kavanagh, who bought his flat in Wandsworth by using his £75,000 discount as a deposit, investing for the long term and enabling him to pay less for a mortgage than he was for renting

Help for first time buyers

The Right to Buy is just 1 of a number of government schemes aimed at helping aspiring homeowners get a foothold on the property ladder.

The NewBuy Scheme, which has been operating since March 2012, enables buyers to purchase a newly-built property with a fraction of the deposit they would normally require.

New figures published today show that, from 12 March 2012 until 31 December 2012, there were 1,522 sales. The Home Builders Federation announced on 24 January that the scheme had reached 3,000 reservations.

Launched in October 2011, FirstBuy provides a valuable alternative to the ‘bank of mum and dad’ by offering loans from government and developers towards that much-needed deposit. There have been nearly 7,000 sales since the scheme’s launch.

Further information

Right to Buy Sales in England, quarter 3 2012 to 2013 is published today.

Anyone interested in taking up their Right to Buy can visit our website for help and advice on the discount they could be eligible for, and the next steps they need to take. Information is also available on our Facebook page.

Other examples of councils seeing large increases in Right to Buy sales include:

  • East Riding of Yorkshire - 34 sales since April 2012, compared to 12 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 183%)
  • Greenwich - 74 sales since April 2012, compared to 18 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 311%)
  • Haringey - 36 sales since April 2012, compared to 7 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 414%)
  • Havering - 31 sales since April 2012, compared to 5 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 520%)
  • Southwark - 45 sales since April 2012, compared to 24 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 88%)
  • Wandsworth - 28 sales since April 2012, compared to 2 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 1,300%)
  • Barnsley - 67 sales since April 2012, compared to 40 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 68%)
  • Newcastle upon Tyne - 64 sales since April 2012, compared to 28 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 129%)
  • North Tyneside - 65 sales since April 2012, compared to 27 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 141%)
  • South Tyneside - 61 sales since April 2012, compared to 30 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 103%)
  • Dacorum - 34 sales since April 2012, compared to 10 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 240%)
  • Stevenage - 31 sales since April 2012, compared to 9 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 244%)
  • Welwyn Hatfield - 40 sales since April 2012, compared to 10 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 300%)
  • Reading - 21 sales since April 2012, compared to 6 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 250%)
  • Crawley - 41 sales since April 2012, compared to 22 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 86%)
  • Swindon - 28 sales since April 2012, compared to 13 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 115%)
  • Taunton Deane - 23 sales since April 2012, compared to 11 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 109%)
  • Solihull - 23 sales since April 2012, compared to 11 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 109%)
  • Warwick - 11 sales since April 2012, compared to 3 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 267%)
  • Kettering - 13 sales since April 2012, compared to 2 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 550%)
  • Lincoln - 18 sales since April 2012, compared to 5 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 260%)
  • Manchester - 42 sales since April 2012, compared to 25 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 68%)
  • Wigan - 53 sales since April 2012, compared to 37 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 43%)

The NewBuy statistics are also published today.

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