NEW figures have revealed a surge in the number of people in the region buying their own council house.

The rise follows a revamping of the to Right to Buy scheme in April last year, including discounts of up to £75,000 for eligible tenants.

In some areas, sales of council houses have doubled, including Darlington where 12 homes have been bought so far in 2012/13, compared to six in 2011/12.

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South Tyneside has sold 61 homes since April 2012 compared with 30 in 2011/12.

A rise in sales has also been reported in North Yorkshire. In Richmondshire three homes have been purchased so far this financial year, compared to just one last year.

Nationally, Right to Buy sales doubled from 1,041 between July and September 2012, to 2,010 between October and December of that year.

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