Right to Buy Home Sales Up 4% Year on Year
Despite its accepted imperfections, the UK Government’s Right to Buy scheme continues to grow in popularity across much of England and Wales. According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, a total of 2,531 properties were sold under the double housing initiative between July and September 2019.
This indicates growth of approximately 4%, when compared with the same period the year before.
For Q2 2019/2020, local authorities collected a combined £215.7 million in revenues under the Right to Buy initiative. This is an increase of around 5% from the same period in 2018/2019, when total revenues collected under the scheme came to £206.4 million. On average, homes sold under the Right to Buy scheme during the second quarter for £85,200.
The numbers released by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government indicated 1,394 home sales during Q2 2019/2020, representing an impressive 11% increase from the same period the year before.
Under the Right to Buy scheme, qualifying tenants (upon meeting specified length-of-tenancy requirements) are automatically given the right to purchase their home, with discounts available of up to £82,800, increasing to £110,500 for qualifying properties in London.
Lower discounts of £24,000 and £8,000 are available in Northern Ireland and Wales respectively.
Housing Association Right to Buy
Meanwhile, the government continues to demonstrate strong confidence in its Right to Buy affordable housing scheme, despite criticism from some councils and housing providers.
In response to a recent Commons question from Tory colleague Sir Christopher Chope, Housing Minister Esther McVey reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the impending rollout of a similar Right to Buy scheme for housing association tenants.
A pilot version of the scheme is currently underway in the Midlands, which has so far seen approximately 6,000 tenants given the opportunity to purchase their housing association properties at a lower price.
Once the pilot is complete, additional areas will be added to the programme “in due course”, said McVey.
Late last year, the Commons came under criticism for allocating approximately £190 million to what was labelled a “ludicrous housing association right-to-buy lottery” by opponents to the project. It was suggested that the funds should be spent on more immediate crises, such as the implementation of additional measures to prevent the deaths of homeless people during the winter.
In addition, Labour’s Steve McCabe stated outright that extending Right to Buy to housing association tenants was “always a daft idea”.