The government figures on Right to Buy make fascinating reading. The number of deals has fallen to just 3,860 last year – a mere twentieth of the 84,100 figure only seven years ago. I’ve repeated the stats below.
It suggests that the issue may be a sideshow to the real priorities around social housing that the government needs to address in the coming months. The main one being that with the DCLG (communities department) facing cuts of around 30 per cent to its budget, social housing will inevitably be hit very hard.
Even worse, because social housing is classified as “capital budget” it will be up against other projects from across Whitehall when the Treasury decides where to cut most deep. Ministers may decide that schemes such as Crossrail are more economically important than new council housing.
Expect billions rather than millions to be shaved off annual housing budgets in their totality. We recently had a look at one major housing funding stream which will not escape unscathed.
Here are the Right to Buy figures going back from 2008/9
2008/9: 3,860 07: 15,110 06: 21,730 05: 33,010 04: 58,650 03: 84,100 02: 73,870 01: 60,190 00: 59,480 99: 61,500
UPDATE on September 21:
The figures for 2009-10 have just come through. There were 3,100 Right to Buy sales in England, a 20 per cent decrease on the previous year. This rather proves my point.