Skip to main content

Right to Buy Homes Sales: April to June 2015 England Update



Sales
  • In 2015-16 April – June (Quarter 1), local authorities sold an estimated 2,779 dwellings under the Right to Buy scheme. This is a decrease of 2 per cent from the 2,849 sold in the same quarter of 2014-15 (Table 1).
  • Local authorities in London accounted for 35 per cent of sales in 2015-16 Quarter 1 (Q1); 23 percentage points higher than the 12 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2006-07 (Chart 1).Receipts
  • In 2015-16 Q1 local authorities received approximately £223 million from Right to Buy sales, 5 per cent higher than the £212 million in the same quarter of 2014-15 (Table 2).
  • The average receipt per dwelling sold in 2015-16 Q1 was £80 thousand, this compares to £74 thousand in the same quarter of 2014-15 (Table 3). 

Introduction
This statistical release presents official statistics on the number of sales of dwellings under the Right to Buy scheme, as well as providing statistics on receipts resulting from those sales and starts on site as part of the one-for-one replacement policy (see History of the Right to Buy Scheme for more detail). 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 (see History of the Right to Buy Scheme for more detail).

These statistics relate only to sales by local authorities under the Right to Buy scheme, excluding
sales by Private Registered Providers (PRPs) under preserved Right to Buy. Sales by PRPs are
recorded in Social Housing Sales, see Related Statistics. Figures are collected from local authority
returns to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Right to Buy Sales
There was a downward trend in Right to Buy sales in the mid-2000s, and the number of sales
decreased greatly between 2006-07 and 2009-10 (possibly caused by the financial crisis). Right to Buy sales were relatively stable between 2009-10 and 2011-12. The increase in Right to Buy sales since 2011-12 may, in part, be explained by the increased discounts available to tenants from 1st April 2012 (see History of the Right to Buy Scheme for further details), the reducing of any effect of
the financial crisis and the increased marketing surrounding the changes. In addition to this, in March 2013 the Government further increased the maximum discount available for tenants living in London boroughs to £100,000 (see History of the Right to Buy Scheme for further details).

Table 1: Quarterly Right To Buy Sales, England, 2006-07 Q1 to 2015-16 Q1




For annual data back to 1980-81, refer to Live Table 671 at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statisticaldata-sets/live-tables-on-social-housing-sales#right-to-buy-sales


 In 2015-16 Q1 local authorities sold an estimated 2,779 dwellings under the Right to Buy scheme. This is a decrease of 2 per cent from the 2,849 sold in the same quarter of 2014-15.


  •  Local authorities in London accounted for 35 per cent of sales in 2015-16 Quarter 1 (Q1);

23 percentage points higher than the 12 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2006-07.


  • Right to Buy sales are yet to reach the levels before the financial crisis. Sales in 2015-16 Q1 were 60 per cent of those in 2006-07 Q1.





Chart 1: Right to Buy Sales by local authority type, England, 2006-07 Q1 to 2015-16 Q1 The chart and map below show the sales per 1,000 dwellings of existing stock in the past year (the year July 2014 - June 2015) for local authorities in England. Please note that all stock figures are based on data from 23 April 2014. Many local authorities no longer hold stock (they have been transferred to Private Registered Providers). In the last 12 months there were 12,235 Right to Buy sales, but local authorities still owned 1.67 million dwellings. There has been an increase in the
number of local authorities with greater than five sales per 1,000 dwellings, from 1 local authority in 2010-11 to 119 local authorities in the past 12 months to June 2015.





The Future of Housing Associations: What Next for Affordable Housing?









Figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government, show that 2,779 homes were sold by councils through the right to buy scheme in England in April to June 2015, while only 307 were started or acquired to replace them using the receipts.

In the year to June, 12,235 homes were sold, while 1,842 were started or acquired to replace them. Since right to buy discounts were increased in April 2012 32,288 homes have been sold, while only 3,644 have been started or acquired to replace them.

Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) deputy chief executive Gavin Smart said: “We understand the government’s aim to encourage people to become home owners, but we’re very concerned about the loss of social rented homes at a time when more and more people are in need of affordable housing.

“Today’s figures make it clear that the number of replacement homes being built is nowhere near the number being sold.  Our research has shown that most authorities only expect to be able to replace half or fewer of the homes they sell under right to buy. It’s always been clear that there would be a lag between homes being sold and homes being built to replace them, but more than three years since right to buy discounts were increased there is mounting evidence that one for one replacement is nowhere near being achieved.”

CIH has called for the government to modify the right to buy scheme to help councils build more homes to replace those sold, such as allowing them to keep all of the receipts rather than handing a proportion over to the Treasury.

The government is proposing to extend the right to buy to housing association tenants and Gavin Smart said that ministers should consider the evidence of how the current scheme is working. He said: “New sales of housing association properties will be in addition to right to buy sales by local authorities and conversions of homes to affordable rents. And of course high-value council homes will be sold to fund the discounts.

“An alternative option for the new right to buy would be giving tenants portable discounts they could use to buy properties of their own choosing, so that social rented housing could be kept and used to help people unable to afford to buy their own homes.”



Further Reading 


UK inflation slips back to zero BoE rate hike months away

Mortgage Lenders and Administrators statistics Bank of England Sept 2015


House price inflation gathers pace as market conditions tighten further August 2015 update


Help to Buy, has helped nearly 120,000 people achieve their aspiration of buying a new home since it was created, latest figures reveal


When building more homes isn't enough in the UK

UK Housing Price Index JULY 2015

Help to Buy >Equity Loan scheme > Help to Buy NewBuy statistics Data to 30 June 2015 England

What Jeremy Corbyn's leadership victory may mean for housing policy in the UK

Newly Elected Labour Candidate, for Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, outlines his Housing Policies

Marie's Question >Jeremy Corbyn The New Labour Leader 
takes his seat in the Houses of Parliament

Weak UK construction data adds to signs of cooling growth

What Jeremy Corbyn's leadership victory may mean for housing policy in the UK

When building more homes isn't enough in the UK

Would a robot replace an estate agent in the future ?

The number of real estate agency UK jobs slowing at a dramatic rate 5000 decline ( 15 year data ) factors

emoov is really moving !

property ecommerce is booming !

Emoov.co.uk to enter US property market Could you sell your home without a real estate agent?

Iconic Building Lincoln House [Former Maharajah Palace and US embassy ] sold to business tycoon $113m 

OntheMarket.com complaints continue to The Competition and Markets Authority


FHFA Adopts Final Rule on 2015-2017 Housing Goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

zoopla.co.uk and rightmove.co.uk primelocation.com subscriptions can be justified

House Prices in UK Overview