Shared ownership  

Shared ownership is a part-buy part-rent government funded scheme designed to help people on moderate incomes get on the property ladder. 

The scheme is simple – you typically buy an affordable shared of between 25% and 75% of the property’s full value and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder, with an option to purchase further shares later. 

What monthly costs can I expect? 

In addition to your rent and mortgage repayments, you will pay a service charge. This will cover costs related to the management of the building, for example insurance, management fees, repairs, utilities and servicing. 

It will also include a contribution into a reserve fund that will be used to pay towards future major works and external decorations. 

Who is eligible? 

Shared ownership is for first-time buyers, tenants and other priority groups who want to become homeowners. Priority groups include first-time buyers, Ministry of Defence personnel, council or housing association tenants and local authority priority groups. 

We usually give priority to those who live or work in the borough where the property is located. However, anyone who meets the basic conditions may be able to buy a home. We consider all applications on merit, so it’s well worth applying. 

What costs are involved in buying a shared ownership property? 

In addition to the money you will need to put towards your deposit, you will need around £4,000 for the cost of solicitor fees and mortgage arrangement fees. 

How much deposit will I need? 

For a deposit, you are likely to need to raise between 5% and 10% of the share you are buying. You will then need to take out a mortgage from a bank or building society to pay for the rest of your share. 

How long does it take to buy? 

The process of buying a new-build property depends on several factors, including the length of time required to arrange a mortgage and the speed at which the solicitors can process the sale. 

This typically takes around two months but can take as little as 28 days if everything proceeds quickly. It is worth noting that buying a property that is not yet built or completed can be a longer process. 

How many bedrooms am I entitled to? 

There is no longer a restriction on the number of bedrooms within the property you wish to buy. Previously, shared ownership purchasers were eligible to apply for properties with one more bedroom than the household required. Now, affordability and availability permitting, you can apply for properties with as many bedrooms as you wish. 

What size share can I buy, and can I buy 100% straight away? 

Generally, the minimum share required to buy a shared ownership property is 25%, with the maximum at 75%. Your total income and savings will be assessed by an independent financial advisor to determine what share you are able to afford. 

You are unable to buy 100% of a shared ownership property straight away. If you can afford to do so, you should look at private sale on the open market. Most shared ownership leases will allow you to buy 100% of the property over time – this is called staircasing. 

To whom do I pay the rental costs? 

You pay rent to the housing association that built the property. The amount you pay depends on the size of the share you purchase and is generally set at a lower rate than private rental costs. 

What is the maximum income allowance for shared ownership? 

In London, the maximum household income to buy a shared ownership property is £90,000. For the rest of the country, it is £80,000.