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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Hunt

All you need to know about Shared Ownership

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What is shared ownership?

Also known as 'part buy, part rent', shared ownership mortgages are part of a government scheme that aims to assist lower income households and first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.

The scheme allows you to buy a share of a property and pay rent on the rest so it’s perfect for people with small deposits and lower incomes.

You are able to buy a stake of between 25% and 75% of the property from a housing association (a not-for-profit organisation that supplies housing) and pay rent on the remaining share.

You would normally need to put down a minimum 5% deposit on your share, not the total property price. You pay for the rest of your share with a mortgage.

Can I buy a larger share of my home at a later date?

Yes, this is called staircasing. You can keep buying chunks of the rented part of your home until you own all of it.

How much you pay for additional shares will depend on the value of your home at the time; this will be determined by the housing association. You'll pay more for the share if your home's value has gone up and less if it's fallen.

Who is eligible for the shared ownership scheme?

You could buy a home through Help to Buy: Shared Ownership in England if:

  • Your household earns £80,000 a year or less outside London, or £90,000 a year or less in London

  • You are a first-time buyer, you used to own a home but can’t afford to buy one now, or you are an existing shared owner looking to move.

How do I apply for the shared ownership scheme?

First, you'll need to find your local Help to Buy agent, which you can do on the government's Help to Buy website. Your local agent's website will contain details of how to apply.

You'll be asked questions about where you want to live, what your income is and how much you have in savings, as well as your history with making credit repayments and debts. Your application will be assessed within around four days.

Shared ownership mortgages

Once you've passed the housing association’s financial checks, you’ll need to go through a similar process with a mortgage lender. It is the same process as a standard mortgage application, including a detailed affordability check, analyzing your income and outgoings, which helps the mortgage provider decide whether and how much to lend to you. You’ll need to take into account the rent you'll pay on the portion of the property that you don’t own, and the ground rent and service charges you'll pay due to shared ownership homes being sold on a leasehold basis.

Who offers shared ownership mortgages?

The market for shared ownership mortgages is not as extensive as that for all first-time buyers – but there's still plenty of choice, with most high-street lenders offering shared ownership products. Some lenders now offer mortgages specifically designed for shared ownership.

Get advice on shared ownership mortgages

It can be tricky finding and getting accepted for a shared ownership mortgage. For a free, expert consultation on your shared ownership mortgage options please contact us 01279 792 756 or

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