Friday, 14 August 2015

Big number, small number, big number.

From The Daily Mail:

Nearly 40 per cent of council flats sold off at a discount in the last 35 years are now being rented out privately to tenants, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Responses by 91 councils show they have sold a combined 127,762 council flats and maisonettes since Right to Buy was introduced in 1980, the request by magazine Inside Housing has unearthed. However, of these, nearly 48,000 leaseholders are registered as living away from the ex-council property, which suggests they rent it out privately. This is 38 per cent of all those sold...

Pat Callaghan, cabinet member for housing in Labour-led Camden, told the magazine: 'Over the years, I have seen many of our estates become virtual honey pots for estate agents and landlords.'

Big number

Forty per cent is roughly what we already knew, and for a depressingly large amount of those, the local council is now paying 'market rate' Housing Benefit and the banks in turn will be collecting a large chunk of that in mortgage interest, so the whole thing is a massive waste of taxpayer's money and is a piss-poor way of increasing owner-occupation levels, which was the ostensible reason for doing this. It's not just a honeypot for estate agents and landlords, it is a massive freebie for the banks who couldn't earn anything from council housing but can now merrily lend ever larger amounts to enable ex-council homes to be bought and sold.

Small number

But hang about, 127,762 is a surprisingly small number, as one commenter points out, that's an average of less than 1 flat per local council per week for the last 35 years.

Big number

Yes, that's because only 91 councils responded out of about 300, and this survey only relates to ex-council flats and does not include ex-council houses. The total number of council homes sold under Right To Buy is of course more like 1.5 million.


Rich Tee said...

Thatcher's government didn't foresee the emergence of the Buy to Let mortgage in 1996 (although it was their changes to the Housing Act that made these mortgages possible because they made it much easier to get tenants out of a property).

Bayard said...

"and is a piss-poor way of increasing owner-occupation levels, which was the ostensible reason for doing this."

But an effective way of getting people to vote for whoever's in power at the time, which is no doubt the real reason.

Random said...
This propaganda is just brilliant. Simple but brilliant.