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Right to Buy sales slump

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05/10/2017
Right to buy sales fell 23% in the first three months of the financial year, according to official data.

Local authorities sold an estimated 2,601 dwellings under the Right to Buy scheme between April and June – a decrease of 23% from the 3,382 sold in the same quarter last year.

However, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) noted that some authorities did not respond in time and these would be expected to add a further 350 sales – about 10 percentage points of the fall.

Income from the sales totalled approximately £219.5m, again 23% lower than the £285m over the same period last year, with an average value of £84,000 per property, unchanged from Q1 2016.

The Conservative government have put a significant emphasis on right to buy as a way to promote home ownership, however critics suggest this reduces the availability of homes for those most in need.

At this week’s party conference prime minister Theresa May confirmed a further £2bn of funding for councils to build fixed-term social housing that would be sold privately after 10-to-15 years, with an automatic right to buy for tenants.

During the 12 month period to the end of June 2017 there were 12,382 Right to Buy sales – around 0.8% of the 1.61m total dwellings owned by local authorities at 1 April 2016.

There has been an increase in the number of local authorities with more than five sales per 1,000 dwellings owned by local authorities from 19 to 137 local authorities in the year ending 2017-18.

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