PM resurrects right-to-buy

Social tenants will be able to benefit from a £75,000 discount when they buy their properties under the government's revived right-to-buy scheme.

The initiative, which had its heyday under Margaret Thatcher, is intended to boost dwindling right-to-buy sales which fell to 3,690 in 2010/11.

David Cameron said he wanted those who "play by the rules" to benefit by restoring "this vital rung on the property ladder".

"This government is now putting it back by dramatically increasing the discount rates so that we support the dreams of those council tenants who to want to own the roof over their head," he said.

Rising property prices, harsher eligibility criteria and falling discount levels all undermined the effectiveness of the right-to-buy scheme during the 1990s and 2000s.

In 1998/99 the average discount was 53% of the property's market value. This fell to 24% by 2008/09.

The discount will increase to £75,000 from this month, quadrupling the discount cap in London and trebling it in most parts of the country.

"I want many more people to achieve the dream of home ownership," Mr Cameron added.

"In the 80s, right to buy helped millions of people living in council housing achieve their aspiration of owning their own home.

"It gave something back to families who worked hard, paid their rent and played by the rules.

"It allowed them to do up their home, change their front door, improve their garden – without getting permission from the council."

Two million homes have been sold since right-to-buy's original launch. The government hopes a further two million properties can be sold, with the funds reinvested in new social housing.