UK home ownership boosted by government’s Right to Buy scheme

The number of social housing tenants who purchased their homes under the UK government’s Right to Buy scheme increased by 3% between July and September this year, the Department for Communities and Local Government revealed on Thursday.

Latest figures collected from local authorities by the government department revealed that nearly 3,000 people bought under the Right to Buy scheme between July and September.

Since 2010, almost 270,000 households have now been helped to purchase their home through Right to Buy, which gives qualifying social tenants the opportunity to buy their rented home at a discount, as well as the government backed scheme Help to Buy.

More than 46,000 people have taken up the chance to buy their home through the Right to Buy scheme since 2012. Under the reinvigorated scheme, local authorities are now able to keep the receipts from additional Right to Buy sales to pay off debt and fund additional affordable housing. Also, a new additional affordable home will be provided for each property sold, which is expected to further increase the nation’s housing stock.

Councils received GBP230m from sales of homes during the July and September quarter, a 9% increase compared to the same period in 2014.

In addition, a volunteer agreement with housing associations has extended the offer of home ownership to a further 1.3 million people, giving more tenants the opportunity to purchase their home. Each day, over 180 housing association tenants are showing interest in taking up this option. More than 11,000 tenants have already registered their interest, with 2,000 of these tenants residing in London. Five housing associations are offering a pilot scheme, in which tenants in eligible areas are being given the chance to begin the process of buying their home now.

The top 10 places where tenants are taking up Right to Buy are: Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Sandwell in the West Midlands, Southwark, Greenwich (both in London), Nottingham, Leicester, Barking and Dagenham in London and Wolverhampton.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis commented:

“We are determined to make peoples aspiration for owning their own home a reality and these figures show the growing eagerness of tenants to take up their Right to Buy.

“We have got Britain building again and the additional homes that will be build from the sale of properties is an important part of our commitment to deliver one million new homes.”

The UK government is said to be committed to delivering one million homes over the next 5 years and figures indicate that the number of new homes in England has risen by 25% in the past year, the highest annual percentage increase in additional homes for 28 years.