A HOUSE purchased from a Gwent council for just £4,800 through the Right to Buy scheme was sold for close to £250,000 eight years later, writes Corey Aunger.

With a price difference of £240,200, it is the most profitable sale of its kind in Wales, figures show.

The property was bought from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council in 2000.

Blaenau Gwent was the joint fifth lowest region in the UK where sellers made money from selling Right to Buy property overall though.

South Wales Argus:

Right to Buy was created to sell discounted council properties to residents to get them on the housing ladder.

A Gwent estate agent, said of the scheme: “I don’t agree with people buying it for next to nothing and selling it on as it’s taking money out of the council’s pocket. But it has improved the area, by people spending money on the property it has brought more people in and that’s also been great for first time buyers.”

The total profit from the re-sale of houses bought through Right to Buy is £61 million in Wales since 2002, with 3,355 sales from then until 2018. 

A council house was bought through the scheme in Newport for £7,000 in July 2007 and sold in September of that same year for £86,500 – averaging a profit of £1,371 per day.

South Wales Argus:

In Gwent, Monmouthshire has been the most profitable area for people selling their ex-council property – but has also seen, on average, the longest time between purchase and sale.

A spokesperson from Monmouthshire county council says the scheme has had a “significant impact” on the social housing stock and their “ability to meet local housing needs”.

They said: “Figures illustrating the situation indicate in excess of 3,000 households on the housing register and we’re projecting over 800 homelessness-related enquiries for 2018/19.

Neil Edwards, director of resources at Bron Afron who manage Torfaen council’s housing stock, has said there was an increase in sales when the end of Right to Buy was announced with 48 applications still pending.

He said: “The decision by the Welsh Government to end RTB means we can maintain our housing stock to people who need them. We also aim to build 450 new homes by the end of 2023.”

OTHER NEWS: 'There is no cure for this condition,' says liver transplant patient aiming to compete in sporting event

OTHER NEWS: Crowds descend for unveiling of new theatre converted from derelict toilet block

A Caerphilly council spokesperson says they are not supportive of people profiting from the scheme.

They added: “We need to consider the many who owned for extended periods and whose properties sold at higher values due to market increases over time rather than quick turnaround profits.”

Newport City Homes and Blaenau Gwent council were approached for comment.

Right to Buy purchasers who sell within five years must pay a percentage of the discount back and they have to offer the property back to the council if sold within 10 years.

The scheme was abolished in Wales this January but continues in England.

A Welsh Government spokesperson has said the law to abolish was passed to protect the stock of social housing, as well as giving social landlords confidence to invest in building more.

The figures came from a BBC shared data unit report.