The Flexible Right To Buy? – Thatchers Vision?

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• UK has the second-largest social housing sector in the EU, and over half of tenants in the sector want to own their own home. • The Right to Buy works for some, but some social tenants live in expensive properties which they cannot afford to buy.

• Almost 700,000 local authority owned homes are in areas where median house prices exceed £250,000. Over 200,000 of these are in areas where median house prices exceed £500,000.

• Social tenants eligible for the Right to Buy should be given a Flexible Right to Buy, entitling them to buy a new home, using the value of their Right to Buy discount.

• The tenant’s previous home would then be sold, funding the discount and raising additional revenue.

• A conservative estimate of the impact would see 21,000 tenants take advantage of the scheme with £2 billion of discounts on £9 billion of stock and net receipts of £7 billion.

• An ambitious estimate of the impact would see 197,000 tenants benefit, with £83 billion of stock and £21 billion of discounts and net receipts of £62 billion.

• Housing stock would be better matched to people’s circumstances, with a cooling effect on overheated local markets.

• Some friction would be removed from labour markets, resulting in improved productivity and wages.

Read the full paper here

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