Number of homes sold under Right to Buy rules in England falling
Thousands of homes are still being sold to tenants by local authorities in England but the number is slowing considerably, official figures show.
In the final quarter of 2017 councils sold an estimated 2,815 homes under the Right to Buy scheme, down 19% from the 3,470 sold in the same quarter in the previous year.
Local authorities in London sold an estimated 439 homes, down 42% and they accounted for 16%, down from the 22% recorded in the same quarter of 2017, the data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government also shows.
During the quarter local authorities received approximately £237.9 million from Right to Buy sales, some 19% lower than the £292.3 million in the same quarter of the previous year with an average sale price of £84,000.
There were 1,101 homes started on site or acquired as part of Right to Buy replacement policy, a rise of 1% on the same quarter in 2017 while in total, there have been 15,981 affordable units started or acquired as replacements by Local Authorities, the HE and GLA since the reinvigoration of the Right to Buy policy in April 2012.
The Right to Buy scheme allows eligible social housing tenants to buy their house at a reduced price and has been in place since 1980 and it has been up and down in terms of sales over the year.
There was a downward trend in Right to Buy sales in the late-2000s, and the number of sales decreased greatly between 2006 and 2009, caused mainly by the financial crisis. Right to Buy sales were relatively stable between 2009 and 2011.
The DHCLG report says that the increase in Right to Buy sales since 2011 is partly due to the increased discounts available to local authority tenants from 01 April 2012 and the reduced effects of the financial crisis.
Additionally, in March 2013 the Government further increased the maximum discount available for tenants living in London boroughs to £100,000.
Right to Buy sales are yet to reach the level they were before the financial crisis. Sales in the final quarter of 2017, for example, were 60% of those in the last quarter of 2006.