Figures reveal profit made on Fylde coast ‘Right to Buy’ houses
New figures have revealed more than £4.6 million has been made in profit from the sale of Right to Buy houses across the Fylde coast since the year 2000.
An investigation by the BBC Shared Data Unit from research by The Chartered Institute of Housing showed 561 ex-council homes have been sold on since the turn of the millennium.
The divisive Right to Buy (RtB) scheme offers large discounts to council tenants who buy their home. Since its inception, more than 2.6 million former council tenants in Great Britain have bought homes under the policy.
The figures show the sales of ex-council homes since April 1 2000, when HM Land Registry began to record the price paid for property across England and Wales.
In Blackpool, 191 RtB houses have been sold on making a collective profit of £2,483,615.
Fylde had 55 properties sold at a profit of £1,509,460 and 315 Wyre houses made a profit of at least £692,965.
Some RtB purchase prices are missing from the data with the majority of Wyre’s missing.
Some of the figures include a Wyre property purchased for £175,000 in December 2004 which was sold on for £320,000 eight months later and a Fylde house made a profit of £62,880 in 2005 after being bought for £15,120 on the RtB scheme only 50 days prior.
Tenants who use RtB must repay some of their discount back to their council if they sell the property within the first five years, and must offer their local authority the opportunity to buy it back.
Paul Dossett, head of local government at financial services firm Grant Thornton UK LLP, said the scheme has been a ‘disaster for the UK taxpayer’.
He added: “Not only have they ended up getting less value for taxpayer-funded assets, the subsequent shortage of social housing has resulted in a hike in rent prices which, when the tenant is a recipient of housing benefit, is also funded by the taxpayer.”
A spokesman for the Chartered Institute of Housing said it’s ‘time to suspend’ the HtB scheme adding: “Not only are we failing to build enough homes for social rent – right to buy means we are losing them at a time when millions of people need genuinely affordable housing more than ever.”
The Housing Act came into force on 3 October 1980 including giving the Right to Buy to more than five million eligible council tenants in the UK.
Then-Prime Minister, the late Baroness Thatcher, said it would pave the way for a “property-owning democracy”.
In England, the policy has been extended for housing association tenants to buy their homes at a discount in a few pilot areas, fulfilling a pledge in the 2015 Conservative party manifesto.