George Osborne’s focus on housing in his Autumn Statement could be good news for first time buyers.

As well as pledging up to £2.3bn in funding to private developers to build 400,000 new homes in England, he announced some changes to the Help to Buy and shared ownership schemes. This is a clear indication of the government’s desire to promote aspirational home ownership, particularly for first time buyers in London.

Martin Fillery, Head of Affordable Homes at Currell, explains what the changes to both schemes could mean for you.

Housing has become a key issue in the 2015 General Election

Osborne’s policies could be good news for first time buyers in the capital

‘Help to Buy Shared Ownership’

Shared ownership allows people to buy a share of a home rather than the whole house and then buy a greater share over time as they can afford to, with a subsidised rent payable on the remainder of the property.

Shared ownership properties are currently allocated in several different ways including some criteria set by local authorities, for example in many instances buyers need to live or work in the local area or be a key worker.

The new regulations of Help to Buy shared ownership will lift the current salary threshold limits so that anyone who has a household income of less than £80,000 outside London and £90,000 inside London, can buy a home though shared ownership and only military personnel will be given priority over other groups. The scheme will apply across England.

Shares will be available between 25% and 75% of a home. The rent on the rest of the property will not be more than 3%.

‘London Help to Buy’

Help to buy equity loans are already open to both first time buyers and home movers on new build homes in England with a purchase price of up to £600k.

Currently if you are able to pay at least 5% of the value of the home as a deposit, the government will lend you up to 20% of the rest of the value of the property, alongside your mortgage of up to 75%.

Equity loans will now be available until 2021 and to reflect the current property market in London, from early 2016 the government will increase the upper limit for the equity loan it gives to new buyers within Greater London from 20% to 40%.

With a London Help to Buy equity loan:

  • You’ll need to contribute at least 5% of the property price as a deposit
  • The Government will give you a loan for up to 40% of the price
  • You’ll need a mortgage of up to 55% to cover the rest


If you would like to discuss shared ownership or Help to Buy with a member of our team please phone 020 7704 5618 or email