The hidden costs of the Right to Buy and the growth of the Private Rented Sector

Start date: 
Wed, 24/04/2013
Closing date: 
Wed, 24/04/2013
Cantor Building, Room 9206 (4 pm)
Event contact: 
Dr Tony Gore

Nigel Sprigings - University of Glasgow


Once transferred to the private sector, Right to Buy housing stock becomes subject to the trends in the wider housing market in terms of prices, transaction patterns and changing tenure trends. The big tenure story of the last decade or more has been the rise of private rental and the decline of home ownership, a trend that has not been affected by the Credit Crunch. This presentation will consider the evidence for this trend, the likely drivers, and the extent and estimated cost of having formerly public rented stock move back into rental, often subsidised through HB/LHA (the evidence pre-dates the caps brought in through Universal Credit although the impacts of this are likely to be greatest in London). The presentation draws on an analysis of records giving coverage of 100% of the housing stock across tenures in Renfrewshire. Additionally some of the benefits to the local authority of using available data sources for such a detailed analysis will be addressed.


Nigel Sprigings started work in housing a few years before the Right to Buy policy began. Twenty years of housing practice experience for RSL and local authority landlords led to an interest in research and teaching. Joining the University of Salford in 1997 Nigel undertook a range of projects related to housing management and regeneration, latterly focusing on the role of the Private Rental Sector in Housing Market Renewal areas. Since joining Glasgow University in 2007 this PRS work has continued including work with Scottish LAs which will be drawn on in this presentation. 

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