"Right to buy" sales of council houses to tenants have reached their highest level since 2007, the Government has said.
Almost 3,500 homes have been sold since the scheme was reinvigorated by the Government last April, in a move which raised the potential discount a tenant could receive off the value of their home to £75,000, from just £16,000 in some areas.
The 3,495 council-owned properties which have been sold in England since the revamp is already a third higher compared with the whole of the financial year 2011/12, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government. The last time that sales were running at similar levels was during the year 2007/8, the department said.
Right to buy sales surged towards the end of last year. There were 2,010 sales made between October and December, which was double the number during the previous quarter.
The £210 million generated from last year's sales will be recycled towards building more affordable homes to rent, the Government said.
Right to buy, a scheme which is widely associated with the Margaret Thatcher era, offers tenants in England discounts of up to 60% for a house and 70% for a flat, up to a maximum of £75,000.
The Government advises that while mortgage lenders are generally prepared to treat the right to buy discount as part of the deposit, would-be buyers should seek advice from the Money Advice Service or a lender about their own circumstances.
The housing market has generally seen some improvement in recent months amid various efforts by the Government to make borrowing easier for people struggling to buy a home.
Lenders have been offering some of their lowest ever mortgage rates and mortgage availability has increased since the Government introduced a Funding for Lending scheme last August, which gives lenders access to cheap finance in order to help borrowers.
More than 3,000 homes have also been reserved under a scheme called NewBuy, which was launched last spring and allows first-time buyers and home movers to buy a new-build home with a 5% deposit, due to an arrangement between the Government, home builders and lenders.
https://www.communities.gov.uk/righttobuy(Right to buy)