By Daniel Hunter

New figures today (Tuesday) reveal a surge in the numbers of aspiring homeowners taking up the Right to Buy their council home.

Launched in April, the reinvigorated Right to Buy offers eligible tenants discounts of up to £75,000 off the value of their home, 3 times the level of previous discounts in some areas.

Today’s data shows Right to Buy sales doubled from 1,041 between July and September 2012, to 2,010 between October and December of that year.

This means 3,495 council-owned properties have been sold to tenants under Right to Buy since the reinvigorated scheme was launched in April - a third more than in the whole of the previous year, and the highest number of sales since 2007.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said the Right to Buy had “opened the door to homeownership” for thousands of tenants.

But he added that these figures only account for sales of council-owned properties, and on top of this eligible housing association tenants can also exercise their preserved Right to Buy - helping even more people realise their dream of home ownership.

Seventy-two councils have seen increases in sales of more than half on last year, with some seeing even bigger increases in their areas. These include:

- Dacorum - 34 sales since April 2012, compared to 10 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 240%).

- Welwyn Hatfield - 40 sales since April 2012, compared to 10 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 300%).

- Wandsworth - 28 sales since April 2012, compared to 2 in the 2011 to 2012 financial year (an increase of 1,300%).

These 3,495 sales have generated £210 million in gross income which, under the reinvigorated Right to Buy, will be recycled back into new affordable homes for rent.

“The reinvigorated Right to Buy has opened the door to home ownership for thousands of tenants across the country and I’m delighted to see so many taking up this opportunity," Housing Minister Mark Prisk said.

“But from the 200,000 hits on our website, to the councils that report to me the surge they’ve seen in applications, I know there are many more that want to follow in their footsteps.

“I would urge any tenant aspiring to buy their home to contact their council or visit the website to find out how they can take their first step onto the property ladder.”

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