Council house Right to Buy sales stall

Right to Buy sales of council homes have fallen by 43 per cent in the latest figures released by the Government, falling to their lowest level since 2013.

English councils sold 1,548 homes to tenants exercising their Right to Buy between July and September 2020, compared with 2,727 in the same quarter in 2019. Councils received £137.2m from these sales, representing a drop of 40 per cent from the same quarter in the previous year.

Although the July to September period coincided with the housing market being re-opened after the initial Covid lockdown and house sales freeze, councils were still expected to comply with legally binding timescales for selling properties to tenants exercising their statutory rights.

Replacement starts on site and acquisitions of homes (to replace sold properties) also fell when compared with activity figures for 2019, falling from 1,404 to 714 in the same quarter for 2020. Back in 2012, the Government said properties sold under the RTB would be replaced on a like for like basis, but replacements are lagging some 10,000 behind sales in the past eight years.

The average receipt per council home sold in the July to September quarter was £88,657, the second highest average receipt since records started in 2012/13 and six per cent greater than the second quarter in 2019.

By Patrick Mooney, Editor