Council Houses are sold off by the Government
The government has announced that the “Right to Buy” sales of council houses to tenants are at their highest level since 2007.
In April it will be 12 months since the government set out measures to encourage tenants to buy their council homes. The scheme introduced by the coalition raised the potential discount for tenants from £16,000to £75,000 in some areas. This has led to sales of nearly 3,500 homes, an increase of 30% on the previous financial year.
The ‘Right to Buy’ scheme offers tenants discounts of up to 60% of the value for a house and 70% for a flat, with a maximum discount of £75,000.
The final quarter of last year saw the biggest rise in the rate of sales – with tenants buying 2,010 properties between October and December 2012, double what was sold in the previous quarter.
This mass sell-off of council properties was last seen in the Thatcher era, and many people are worried that the policy will lead to a shortage of council and other affordable housing, however the government deny this.
According to the Government the resulting income of £210 million will be ploughed back into providing affordable rental housing.
The Market is picking up
The housing market has started to see some general improvements recently as lenders have been offering some of their lowest ever mortgage rates.
The New Buy scheme, launched last Spring, has helped to boost the housing market. In fact more than 3,000 homes also been reserved under the scheme which allows first-time-buyers to buy with just a 5% deposit.
The availability of mortgages has also increased since the ‘Funding for Lending’ scheme was initiated by the Government in August 2012. This basically gives lenders access to cheap finance in order to help borrowers to gain a mortgage.
This Government do seem committed to using the Housing Market to drive the economy forward and out of recession.