Property Update: Mobility fallacy

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PERSUADING council tenants to buy their homes would do little to improve job mobility, according to a report by University of Glasgow researchers for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Right-to-buy policies often rest on the argument that tenants find it hard to move house and find work. But the study of six UK cities says that the biggest problem for manual workers was getting a reasonably-paid job rather than giving up a subsidised home.

Only 12 per cent of council tenants had moved more than 30 miles within five years, compared with about one-third of owners and more than 40 per cent of private renters. However, the research was carried out before the slump, which has probably wiped out any marginal advantage to occupiers.

Discussion Paper 38, Centre for Housing Research, 26 Bute Gardens, Glasgow G12 8RT.