Archive | July, 2015

Wrong to buy

1 Jul

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that between January 2011 and May 2015 Newham council sold 501 properties under Right to Buy legislation.

These properties had a book value of almost £82 million, but due to statutory discounts the council received just £42 million. 

Analysis of the data shows that the average value of each home sold was £163,224 and the average discount was £79,461, leaving Newham with receipts of just £83,763 per sale.

Sales by postcode were:

Postcode Number Valuation Sale price Discount
E16 94 £14,401,100 £7,189,300 £7,211,800
E12 56 £8,296,500 £3,890,270 £4,406,230
E15 85 £14,586,900 £7,773,458 £6,813,442
E7 45 £7,653,200 £4,092,380 £3,560,820
E6 128 £20,828,995 £10,562,717 £10,266,278
CM13 11 £2,188,400 £1,432,400 £756,000
E13 72 £11,872,350 £5,979,780 £5,892,570
RM13 3 £486,000 £252,300 £233,700
E11 4 £727,000 £346,200 £380,800
E14 1 £245,000 £145,000 £100,000
E18 1 £360,000 £260,000 £100,000
E* 1 £130,000 £41,600 £88,400
Total 501 £81,775,445 £41,965,405 £39,810,040

 * as listed by Newham in the FOI response

Of course, the council can rightly point out that it had no choice but to sell these homes – ‘right to buy’ is the law. But it can’t escape responsibility for other policies that are reducing the stock of social homes in the borough – for example it’s own NewShare scheme to sell off empty council houses on a shared ownership basis and its decision to keep hundreds of properties on the Carpenters Estate empty. Plus, of course, its repeated failure to enforce its own targets for affordable homes in new developments.

With the Tory government determined to expand ‘right to buy’ to housing associations it more vital than ever that the stock of affordable and social housing is increased. Newham has to do everything it can to make sure this happens.