What is shared ownership?

Shared ownership is a type of Help to Buy scheme, that allows you to purchase a share in a property. You then pay a subsidised rent to the Housing Association on the remaining share, along with a monthly service charge.

Shared ownership properties are purchased on a leasehold basis and the lease is normally 125 years. This means you will own an equity share in the property – anything from 25% to 75%, dependent on what is being offered by the vendor, and what you’re able to afford.

Financial ability is assessed free of charge by an independent financial advisor (IFA). You’re required to buy up to your maximum affordability, and additional shares in the property can be purchased at any time – this is called staircasing. The price is always taken from the market value, which is determined at the time by a RICS accredited surveyor.

Once you’ve bought your property, you can sell it at any time. The housing association will normally have a 12 week period to find another person to purchase the property under the shared ownership scheme, however if they can’t find a buyer in that time period, the property can then be sold on the open market (again, the value is determined by a RICS accredited surveyor).

So how do I know if I’m eligible?

In order to qualify for shared ownership, you’ll need to…

  • Earn less than £90,000 a year if you’re looking to buy in London, and £80,000 outside of London. Every property will have a minimum income level too, determined by its value, rent and service charge costs
  • Have access to a minimum deposit of 5% of the share being purchased
  • Be employed on a permanent contract and have passed any probation or be able to provide three years audited accounts if self-employed
  • Have British, EU or EEA Citizenship or have indefinite leave to remain
  • £5,000 towards legal fees, mortgage arrangement fees and stamp duty

Each development will have an eligibility criteria of its own and this can be based on the area in which applicants currently live or work and the type of accommodation currently occupied.

What now?

Take a look at our selection of fabulous properties available to purchase through shared ownership here.

To find out more about shared ownership, head to Twitter to take part in #SOChatHour where you can join the conversation and ask questions about all things Shared Ownership, every Wednesday at 8pm.

You can also get in touch with our team on 020 7704 5618.