The resale of local authority dwellings in rural England: a case study of South Northamptonshire

  • Paul Chaney

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Patterns and processes of migration and housing market restructuring in the English countryside have attracted considerable attention over recent years. In contrast to many earlier studies which have failed to examine the way in which these processes are interrelated, this research focuses upon the former local authority sector of the rural housing market in order to explore the key connections between housing market restructuring, migration and rural social change. A realist approach is developed to explore the relationship between households moving through this increasingly important sector of the housing market and wider social and economic structures. This study focuses on the District of South Northamptonshire, an accessible rural district located between principal metropolitan centres where the housing market has been transformed by rapid population growth and high rates of council house sales over recent decades. Analysis is undertaken of the way in which local responses to national housing policy over earlier decades produced a stock of over 4,500 local authority dwellings in the District. Sale of these dwellings under the Right To Buy clauses within the Housing Act (1980) and subsequent resale by tenant-purchasers is a key aspect of the post-1980 restructuring of the housing market and is presenting a unique housing opportunity to increasing numbers of homebuyers in a market characterised by extremely high houseprices and a highly constrained supply of owner-occupied housing. Analysis is based on detailed information relating to 800 households derived from interviews with purchasers of resold dwellings and local authority housing records. The impact of these changes is examined at a variety of spatial scales from the national context, to the impact on individual settlements. Throughout the research findings are related to contemporary debates about rural housing policy and ‘social’ housing provision; social theory and the study of housing, migration and social change in the countryside; and the implications for future related studies
    Date of Award1997
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Northampton
    • University of Leicester
    SupervisorKenneth Sherwood (Supervisor)

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