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.
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.
Getting on the property ladder is tough. For buyers in London you are paying rent and saving for a deposit, and it can feel like an uphill struggle at times.
There are however certain schemes available to first time buyers, which we’ve outlined below:
Help to Buy ISA
This product is available from a range of banks, building societies and credit unions. You save money into a Help to Buy ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25%. So, for every £200 you save, you receive £50 in a government bonus. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3000. The accounts are available to each first-time buyer and not each household. This means a couple could get £6000 towards their first home. Your solicitor will apply for the government bonus on your behalf and use the funds at the completion of the property transaction. You cannot use the funds for the deposit at exchange of contracts. Further details here.
If you cannot afford the mortgage on 100% of a home, you can buy a percentage of one (normally 25-75%) and rent the part you don’t own. As and when your income allows you can purchase more shares in the property (there are costs involved with this and you purchase at the current market value). To be eligible your household needs to earn £80000 or less outside of London and £90000 or less in London. Further details here.
Help to Buy Equity Loan
Under this scheme the buyer needs a 5% deposit, the government offers a 20% interest free loan (first five years only) and the remaining 75% is funded by a standard mortgage. Be aware though that from year 6 interest becomes payable on the 20% and starts at 1.75%. Every year after it increases by RPI (Retail Price Index) plus 1%. This scheme is available for all new-build properties in England worth up to £600,000. Further details here.
Help to Buy London
In an extension to the above scheme, the London Help to Buy was launched on 1st February 2016. Specifically to help buyers in London, the amount will grant an equity loan of up to 40% of the purchase price. Buyers can proceed with a deposit as little as 5%. Subject to qualifying you would need a mortgage on the remaining 55%. You won’t be charged any fees on the 40% for the first 5 years of owning your property. You cannot sublet this home and you are not allowed to own any other property at the time you buy your new home with Help to Buy London. From year 6 interest becomes payable on the equity loan and follows the formula in the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme above. Further details here.
If you are a first-time buyer (under 40 years old) the Starter Homes scheme could help you buy a new-build home with a 20% discount. The maximum cost of a home offered via the Starter Homes scheme will be £250,000 outside London and £450,000 inside London. The scheme isn’t up and running yet but planning is well underway. Aspiring homeowners can register their interest online now here.
Only one shared ownership apartment remains for sale at the popular Kings Crescent development. This first floor 3 bedroom apartment is available to purchase with a deposit of only £8,438.
This spacious apartment has wood flooring throughout, a high end kitchen with integrated appliances. It also has a large balcony and views over the courtyard to the rear of the property.
The development is ideally located next to Clissold Park, and with excellent transport links nearby. Manor Park tube station is just over half a mile away and Finsbury Park (tube and rail station) is a ten minute walk from the development. In 2018 Finsbury Park will become part of the Thameslink mainline, offering improved services to the south coast and beyond.
Applications are accepted from all London boroughs, and priority will be given to those living and working in the London borough of Hackney.
To register your interest please call the shared ownership team on 0207 704 5618 or email firstname.lastname@example.org