Right to Buy earns London’s councils £3.415bn in 10 years

Right to Buy earns London’s councils £3.415bn in 10 years

8:55 AM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago

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Over the last decade, more than 23,000 homes have been sold under the Right to Buy (RTB) scheme to London’s council tenants which equates to 5.6% of the total local authority-owned housing stock.

The market value of the homes sold via RTB across the London market is an astonishing £3.415bn in the last 10 years.

The analysis of historic Right to Buy data comes from lettings and estate agents Benham and Reeves which reveals that since 2012-13, 23,061 council homes have been sold to tenants by their respective local councils.

Right to Buy sales

The highest number of council-owned homes have been sold in Barking and Dagenham, where Right to Buy sales total 1,883 over the last decade.

Greenwich has also seen a similar number sold at 1,867, followed by Newham (1,716), Southwark (1,702) and Tower Hamlets (1,187)

Across the capital, the total number of RTB sales accounts for 5.6% of all local authority-owned homes.

However, in the City of London, while just 62 homes have been sold via Right to Buy, this figure accounts for 14.4% of all the council homes located there.

Council-owned homes being sold

Newham again ranks high, with Right to Buy seeing 10.2% of council-owned homes being sold, as does Barking and Dagenham (9.8%) and Tower Hamlets (9.5%).

Redbridge also makes the top five, with 9.4% of total council homes in the borough being sold in the last decade.

When it comes to the highest sold value, it is the London Borough of Southwark that sits at the top where RTB sales have generated 3254.5m since 2012, with Greenwich (£223.5m), Barking and Dagenham (£222.3m) and Newham (£201.7m) again making the top five.

Islington also ranks as one of the boroughs to see the highest sold value of homes to council tenants, generating £198m since 2012.

‘Right to Buy may have been an incredibly successful initiative’

The director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, said: “Right to Buy may have been an incredibly successful initiative when it comes to giving council tenants the ability to climb the ladder and many have seized the opportunity to do so in the last ten years.

“Of course, in doing so these local authorities have essentially shot themselves in the foot, as it severely reduces the social housing stock available to them to satisfy the huge demand from those who are still in desperate need of it.

“The irony is, that it then costs these councils more, as they need to rely on renting from the private sector at a higher price to house those in need.”

He added: “As a result, we’ve now seen some councils start to reverse this trend and reclaim formerly council-owned homes from their owners.

“Which does beg the question that, having made some quite sizeable sums from selling in the first place, why London’s local authorities haven’t invested appropriately in the provision of new homes for council tenants?”



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