An average profit of almost £50,000 was made by people selling homes they bought under the Right to Buy scheme in Shropshire.

Figures released under the BBC Shared Data Unit scheme, showed the average property sold in the county after being bought under the Right to Buy policy gave homeowners a £46,368 profit.

There was also an average of 2,857 days between the house being purchased under the scheme and then sold on. This equates to an average of £31 profit per day.

There were 93 such sales in the county between 2000 and April last year.

Right to Buy, which offers large discounts to council tenants who buy their home, has been one of the most divisive housing policies of the past 40 years.

The Housing Act came into force on October 3, 1980, including giving the Right to Buy (RtB) to more than five million eligible council tenants in the UK.

The then-prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, said it would pave the way for a “property-owning democracy”.

Since its inception, more than 2.6 million former council tenants in Great Britain have bought homes under the policy, according to research by The Chartered Institute of Housing.

Supporters say it has given millions of people the chance to get on the housing ladder and secure their families’ financial future.

Opponents blame the policy for distorting the housing market and for a huge reduction in the amount of social housing stock.

Since its inception, more than 1.9 million homes have been sold under RtB in England, more than half a million in Scotland, 140,000 in Wales, and 122,000 in Northern Ireland.

In 1980, tenants who had lived in their home for up to three years were then offered a 33 per cent discount on the market value of their council home, increasing in stages up to 50 per cent for a tenancy of 20 years.

Today, homeowners receive a 35 per cent discount if they have been a public sector tenant for between three and five years.

After five years, the discount increases one per cent for each extra year of tenancy, up to a maximum of 70 per cent – or £80,900 across England and £108,000 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).

The HM Land Registry data details some 110,000 transactions in England and Wales from April 2000 to March 2018.

The Shared Data Unit has RtB sale price and re-sale price for around 53,000 of those transactions.

Of those homes, the total profit made on the re-sale of ex-RtB homes was £5bn or £4.3bn in real terms.

The average time vendors kept their RtB home was 2,731 days (7.5 years). This was 2,857 days in Shropshire.

In the wider West Midlands, one person bought their ex-council home in Solihull for £7,850 before selling it after nine days in July 2013 for £285,000.

Paul Dossett, head of local government at financial services firm Grant Thornton UK LLP, said: “The right-to-buy scheme has been a disaster for the UK taxpayer. Not only have they ended up getting less value for taxpayer-funded assets, the subsequent shortage of social housing has resulted in a hike in rent prices which, when the tenant is a recipient of housing benefit, is also funded by the taxpayer.”

But Minister of State for Housing Kit Malthouse MP added: “Under Right to Buy, the government has helped nearly two million people achieve their dream of home ownership.”

It was reported last week that more council houses are being sold under Right to Buy in Shropshire, bucking the trend across England.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show that Shropshire Council sold 36 council houses under the Right to Buy scheme, between April 2017 and March 2018. It was up from 28 the previous year.

Shropshire Council earned £2.23 million from the sale of the 36 homes.