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Right to Buy sales up fivefold

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The number of social tenants who bought their homes using Right to Buy soared between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013.

Altogether 2,149 properties were sold under the scheme in the first three months of this year, compared to just 443 in Q1 2012.

The government expanded the maximum discount to £75,000 across England in April 2012 and increased the London discount to £100,000 a year later.

The sharp contrast between this quarter and last year may be due to tenants waiting for the discount changes, it suggested.

However, the take-up slowed this year, with 12.3% less sales than in the fourth quarter of 2012-13.

Housing minister Mark Prisk said many councils needed to do more to bring the scheme to eligible tenants’ attention:

“Today’s figures only account for sales of council-owned properties.

“Thousands of housing association tenants can also take up their preserved Right to Buy, meaning even more people are able to become homeowners through the scheme.

“In the future this could also be expanded. Currently tenants need to have lived in their property for at least five years, but under planned new legislation this could be reduced to three years.”

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