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Home Press releasesBuyingRight to Buy bags London’s local authorities £3.415bn in the last decade

Right to Buy bags London’s local authorities £3.415bn in the last decade

Right to Buy bagsResearch from London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has found that over the last decade, over 23,000 homes have been sold under the Right to Buy scheme to council tenants and while this may only equate to 5.6% of total local authority owned dwellings stock, it equates to a total market value of £3.4bn.

The analysis of historic Right to Buy data by Benham and Reeves shows that, since 2012-13, 23,061 council homes have been sold to tenants by their respective local councils.

Highest total Right to Buy sales

The highest number of council owned homes have been sold in Barking and Dagenham, where Right to Buy sales total 1,883 over the last decade.

Greenwich has also seen a similar number sold at 1,867, followed by Newham (1,716), Southwark (1,702) and Tower Hamlets (1,187).

Highest proportion of total council homes sold

Across the capital as a whole, the total number of Right to Buy sales accounts for 5.6% of all local authority owned homes.

However, in the City of London, while just 62 homes have sold via Right to Buy, this figure accounts for 14.4% of all council homes located there.

Newham again ranks high, with Right to Buy seeing 10.2% of council owned homes sold, as does Barking and Dagenham (9.8%) and Tower Hamlets (9.5%).

Redbridge also makes the top five, with 9.4% of total council homes in the borough being sold via Right to Buy in the last decade.

Highest Right to Buy sold value

The market value of homes sold via Right to Buy across the London market has hit a huge £3.415bn in the last 10 years.

When it comes to the highest sold value, it’s the London Borough of Southwark that sits top. Right to Buy sales have generated 3254.5m since 2012, with Greenwich (£223.5m), Barking and Dagenham (£222.3m) and Newham (£201.7m) again making the top five.

Islington also ranks as one of the boroughs to see the highest sold value of Right to Buy homes to council tenants, generating £198m since 2012.

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented:

“Right to Buy may have been an incredibly successful initiative when it comes to giving council tenants the ability to climb the ladder and many have seized the opportunity to do so in the last ten years.

Of course, in doing so these local authorities have essentially shot themselves in the foot, as it severely reduces the social housing stock available to them to satisfy the huge demand from those who are still in desperate need of it. The irony is, that it then costs these councils more, as they need to rely on renting from the private sector at a higher price to house those in need.

As a result, we’ve now seen some councils start to reverse this trend and reclaim formerly council owned homes from their owners. Which does beg the question that, having made some quite sizeable sums from selling in the first place, why London’s local authorities haven’t invested appropriately in the provision of new homes for council tenants?”

Location / borough Total Right to Buy sales – 2012-13 to 2021-22 Local Authority (incl. owned by other LAs) dwelling stock 2012 Est Right to Buy as a proportion of total LA owned stock % Total market value of Right to Buy receipts
Southwark 1,702 39,781 4.3% £254,500,497
Greenwich 1,867 22,854 8.2% £223,591,573
Barking and Dagenham 1,883 19,144 9.8% £222,257,810
Newham 1,716 16,816 10.2% £201,738,054
Islington 931 26,256 3.5% £197,912,471
Tower Hamlets 1,187 12,517 9.5% £180,473,841
Hackney 872 22,733 3.8% £159,392,517
Camden 628 23,630 2.7% £159,083,611
Lambeth 829 24,978 3.3% £139,538,271
Haringey 1,064 15,911 6.7% £138,833,024
Croydon 901 14,089 6.4% £119,844,208
Hounslow 798 13,416 5.9% £117,407,044
Enfield 1,001 11,317 8.8% £115,996,675
Hillingdon 816 10,501 7.8% £114,176,113
Lewisham 777 15,364 5.1% £105,913,634
Waltham Forest 710 10,125 7.0% £103,081,012
Havering 900 10,017 9.0% £97,859,056
Barnet 577 11,043 5.2% £95,971,526
Wandsworth 538 17,048 3.2% £93,732,764
Ealing 666 12,861 5.2% £90,540,815
Hammersmith and Fulham 393 12,948 3.0% £82,684,255
Westminster 276 12,241 2.3% £76,797,839
Brent 435 9,040 4.8% £72,766,652
Sutton 442 6,325 7.0% £63,931,700
Redbridge 438 4,683 9.4% £53,453,460
Harrow 258 4,965 5.2% £46,076,955
Kingston upon Thames 249 4,841 5.1% £39,912,560
Kensington and Chelsea 145 6,873 2.1% £35,463,531
City of London 62 430 14.4% £12,536,844
Bexley 0 13 0.0% £0
Bromley 0 62 0.0% £0
Merton 0 0 x £0
Richmond upon Thames 0 0 x £0
London 23,061 412,822 5.6% £3,415,468,309

Right to Buy sales and receipts data sourced from Gov – Live Tables on Social Housing
Wider local authority owned dwellings data sourced from Gov – Live Tables on Dwellings Stock


About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents. With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 14 international offices.