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Statistics: Fewer homes started than number sold under Right to Buy

Words: Laura Edgar
Housing / iStock_000074406885

In October 2017/18, local authorities sold 2,815 dwellings under the Right to Buy, but only 1,101 homes were started or acquired to replace them, according to government statistics.

Data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government also shows the number of homes sold under the scheme in Q3 decreased by 19 per cent compared with the same quarter in 2016/17, down from 3,470.

The 1,101 dwellings started or acquired is 1 per cent higher than the number started or acquired in the same quarter a year earlier.

Local authorities in London sold approximately 439 homes under Right to Buy in October to December last year, down 42 per cent from the 751 sold in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.

In Q3 local authorities received about £237.9 million from the sale of council properties under the scheme. This is 19 per cent lower than the same quarter a year earlier, where receipts totalled £292.3 million.

The average receipt per dwelling was £84,000, the same as the year before.

In total, there have been 15,981 ‘affordable units’ started or acquired as replacements by local authorities, Homes England, and the Greater London Authority since this iteration of the Right to Buy policy was brought forward in April 2012.

In a written ministerial statement published on 29 March, housing minister Dominic Raab said: “The government is committed to a step change in council house building. However, statistics ... show that while the number of homes available for social rent has increased, some local authorities have not been building enough Right to Buy replacements to match the pace of their sales. It is clear that local authorities need to increase their rate of delivery of new homes.”

He said the government will consult further with the sector on providing greater flexibility around how local authorities can use their Right to Buy receipts. “We will consider social housing issues as part of our work on the forthcoming green paper.”

The full ministerial statement can be found on the UK Parliament website.

Right to Buy Sales in England: October to December 2017 can be found on the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website (pdf).

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