Right to Buy…time to move?

Publication type

Conference Paper


BHPS-2009 Conference: the 2009 British Household Panel Survey Research Conference, 9-11 July 2009, Colchester, UK


Publication date

June 1, 2009


This research uses longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Study (BHPS) to study moving behaviour and moving desires of those who bought their homes under the Right to Buy.
The consequences of the Right to Buy legislation, introduced in the early 1980s, have been studied intensively. One stated aim of the Right to Buy was that it was expected that freeing up the housing market, by removing the debilitating effect of public housing, would help to reduce constraints on inter-regional mobility. This would give people more freedom to move between regions for family, environmental and, especially, labour market reasons. Despite this clearly stated goal of the Right to Buy policy, there has been no research on whether council tenants became more mobile over long distances after buying their house.
This research is the first study to examine rigorously whether the Right to Buy legislation did indeed “free-up” people to move inter-regionally. To compliment the research on moving behaviour, the moving desires of those who bought under the Right to Buy are also considered. An investigation of peoples desire to move (or the lack of this desire) may provide an insight into the factors that influenced peoples decisions to purchase their council homes. Initial results from studying the effect of the Right to Buy on mobility using longitudinal data from the BHPS will be presented.



- http://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/events/conferences/bhps-2009-conference/programme



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