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The option you never knew existed

Shared ownership is another way to buy a home. You buy a percentage, typically with a mortgage and mortgage deposit, and pay rent on the rest you don't. The housing association owns the part of it you don't buy — but you’re living there, you decorate it, and you decide when to sell. Buying a percentage means a smaller deposit and smaller mortgage. It’s a sooner first step on the ladder for lots of people. Usually, you can also carry on buying shares, to own it 100%, when you can afford to, or if you want to.

That's what SHARED OWNERSHIP means

What is shared ownership?

You’re probably still wondering about shared ownership’s features, benefits and how it could work for you. We’ve gathered up some of the frequently asked questions.

Shared ownership is an option for lots of people — probably more than you think. A smaller deposit makes it easier for first-time buyers to get on the ladder, and it's an easier way for separated couples to buy again with their individual share of joint assets. And with a smaller deposit and smaller mortgage required, it can be a great option for many families looking to get more space with a bigger home than they could afford to buy otherwise.

Generally speaking:

  • Your household income needs to be under £80k (under £90k in London).
  • You can't be the owner of another property.
  • You'll need to show you have a good credit history, and can afford the regular payments and costs involved in buying a home.
  • You should have savings, or be able to put down at least 5-10% deposit on the share of the property you're buying, plus to cover any associated upfront fees such as conveyancing.

Only if you want to! Contrary to its name, you're not sharing the house with other flatmates or buying it with someone you don't know.

Shared ownership means you own a share of the property, and a housing association owns the remaining share you don't buy.

If you want to buy with a partner, friend, or sibling, that's totally fine. But your total combined income when you submit your application must be below £80k (£90k if you're in London).

Shared ownershi is available on specific homes only, that you'll find advertised through website portals such as You pay for a percentage share between 10% and 75% of the home’s full market value. You will usually buy your percentage share with a mortgage and mortgage deposit, but you may be able to buy a share outright without a mortgage depending on your circumstances. You enter into a lease agreement with the landlord, usually a housing association, and agree to pay rent to them on the remaining share you don't purchase. Most shared ownership homes require an initial share purchase between 25% and 75%. A limited number of homes are available for sale under the new model for shared ownership (from 10% shares rather than the previous 25%), however homes on the more readily-available version of shared ownership are available to purchase now.

You'll have a lease, which is essentially the contract for the share you've bought. It means you've got the right to keep your home for a certain number of years (it will depend which type of shared ownership you purchase your home with but the term could be up to 990 years), but the land belongs to someone else. Your lease also sets out how much you need to pay each month, your responsibilities while living there and all the details of your agreement with the housing association. Make sure you go through it and ask lots of questions. Your solicitor can help you with this.

Shared ownership properties tend to be either new-builds offered by housing associations, or 'resales' of existing shared ownership properties. There are a range of new properties available, which usually means fewer future repairs, and the chance to move in straight away without having to replace any ancient boilers.

Depending on where you are looking to buy, youwill find a mix of homes from apartments to houses and even bungalows, ranging from studios to four bedrooms.

Keep on reading! Check out the What It Means page for more information on shared ownership.

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