• Shared ownership schemes are provided through housing associations. You buy a share of your home (25% to 75% of the home’s value) and pay rent on the remaining share.

    You’ll need to take out a mortgage to pay for your share of the home’s purchase price.

    The precise share purchased depends on an individual’s level of affordability and the ability to raise a suitable mortgage.


    You can buy a home through shared ownership if:

    • your household earns £60,000 a year or less (or £71,000 a year or less in London for a 1 or 2 bedroom property, or £85,000 a year or less in London for a 3 or more bedroom property)
    • you’re a first-time buyer (or you used to own a home, but can’t afford to buy one now)
    • you rent a council or housing association property

    You will need to pay a subsidised rent to the housing association which is initially capped at a maximum of 3% and is calculated on the share of the property retained by the housing association.

    For example on a property valued at £150,000 bought on a 50% share the initial rent would be: £75,000 x 3% = £2,250 per annum, paid monthly at £187.50.

    Additional shares may be purchased in future years and will be assessed on the property’s value at the time of application. This process is known as staircasing. You can staircase until the property is eventually owned outright.

    Each time a staircasing event takes place, the amount of rent is recalculated and reduces proportionately. It should be noted that there is no compulsion to buy further shares and the original share split can remain in place until the property is eventually resold.

    Mortgages (subject to market conditions) are generally available for up to 95% of the share being purchased.

    On the above example, therefore, the minimum personal deposit requirement could be as low as £3,750, although if a 25% share were purchased, this would reduce to £1,875.

    If you own 100% of your home, you can sell it yourself. When you put it up for sale, the housing association has the right to buy the property back first. This is known as ‘first refusal’ and the housing association has this right for 21 years after you fully own the home.

    If you own a share of your home, the housing association has the right to find a buyer for it.

    Care should be taken when looking at shared ownership properties in specific rural areas as different rules may apply and checks should be made with the individual housing association.

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