Read below to find out all there is to know about the Shared Ownership scheme.

What is a Shared Ownership mortgage?

Shared Ownership is a housing scheme that supports buyers who cannot afford the full deposit for a home that meets their requirements. The scheme enables you to acquire a portion of the property’s value, thus allowing you to enter the property market. The housing association owns the remaining portion of the property; your ownership is leasehold-based.

How does Shared Ownership work?

The Shared Ownership scheme allows buyers to buy a portion of the property, usually ranging from 25% to 75% of the total price. Sometimes, you can buy a share as low as 10% of the property’s value. Afterwards, you can purchase additional shares of the property gradually.

You have two options to purchase a share of a property: take out a mortgage or use your savings. You will pay rent each month to the housing association on the portion of the property they own. However, you will still need to provide a deposit, which will be smaller as you are only buying a portion of the property. This deposit is typically between 5% and 10% of your purchase share.

Some lenders don’t provide mortgages for purchasing Shared Ownership properties, so you may need a specific mortgage. However, you can still seek assistance from mortgage brokers like L&C, who can guide you about which lenders to approach.

Should I buy my home under Shared Ownership?

The Shared Ownership scheme can be helpful for individuals who require assistance in purchasing a home and may not have the means to do so otherwise.

Although it may seem like a less complicated approach to homeownership, it is necessary to think through it carefully. Rent-to-own is still a significant financial obligation, and despite not fully owning the property, you will be liable for all expenses.

Who is eligible for the Shared Ownership scheme?

You are eligible to apply for Shared Ownership if:

• Your household earns less than £80,000 per year, or less than £90,000 if you live in London.

• You are a first time buyer

• It seems like the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that suits your needs are too expensive for your budget.

• You were previously a homeowner, but your current financial situation prevents you from being able to purchase a house at this time.

• You are searching to create a new household, for example, after a breakup.

• You are a shared owner who wishes to relocate.

The government has introduced the Older People’s Shared Ownership (OPSO) scheme, exclusive to individuals over 55. Through this scheme, you can purchase up to 75% of your home, and once you have acquired 75%, you will not be required to pay rent for the remaining 25%.

If you have a long-term disability and require a ground-floor property, you can apply for Shared Ownership properties. This scheme allows you to purchase up to 25% of your home. The name of this scheme is the Home Ownership for People with Long-Term Disabilities (HOLD).

What are the advantages and limitations of Shared ownership?

Before buying a property through Shared Ownership, it is crucial to understand its advantages and disadvantages completely. This will help you make an informed decision about whether this scheme is right for you.

Advantages of a Shared Ownership

There are several benefits to Shared Ownership.

• When buying a Shared Ownership property, the required deposit is usually lower because you only buy a portion rather than the entire property.

• Your payments may be lower than if you had purchased the property with a regular mortgage, even when you combine your mortgage payments and rent on the portion of the property you don’t own. This is because of the Shared Ownership scheme.

• If you buy additional shares in a shared ownership home, you can eventually own the whole property.

• If the property’s value goes up over time, you can sell your share at a higher price and make a profit.

• There is no minimum living duration requirement for selling a Shared Ownership property, meaning you can sell it anytime.

Limitations of a Shared Ownership

Sharing ownership of a property has several limitations.

• If you opt for Shared Ownership properties, note that they are typically leasehold, not freehold. You will be responsible for paying a service charge and ground rent.

• You are accountable for covering the property’s maintenance expenses, including the portion owned by the housing association.

• To buy more shares in your Shared Ownership property, you must pay the valuation and legal fees for every new share you purchase. This could cost you a considerable amount.

• If you want to sell your property that you share ownership with the housing association, you must offer it to them first before advertising it on the open market. This is called ‘first refusal’. The housing association may also have the right to find a buyer for your home. However, if you own 100% of your home, you can sell it yourself.

How do you apply for a Shared Ownership scheme?

To purchase Shared Ownership properties, you should contact the regional Help to Buy agent in the area where you desire to reside. The agent can assist and guide you with the scheme details.

We offer a free service to help you find the right mortgage with no obligation. Our mortgage advisers are available to answer any questions you may have.

Stamp Duty on Shared Ownership Properties

If you’re a first-time buyer purchasing a Shared Ownership property, you won’t have to pay any stamp duty if the property costs less than £425,000. For properties costing between £425,001 and £625,000, you won’t have to pay stamp duty on the first £425,000, but you will need to pay 5% stamp duty on the remaining amount.

When purchasing a percentage of a Shared Ownership property over £425,000 as a first-time buyer, you have two options for paying stamp duty. You can pay stamp duty only on the share you are purchasing, or if you plan to purchase more shares in the future, you can choose to pay stamp duty on the entire market value of the property.

Paying the full stamp duty in advance will exempt you from future stamp duty payments when buying more shares in the property.

If you choose not to pay the full amount upfront, you will only have to pay stamp duty on the first share you buy above £425,000, and additional payments will only be required once you own over 80% of the property. The stamp duty amount is calculated based on the total paid so far. If you decide to pay in stages, you may have to pay stamp duty on the net present value of the rent. If you are eligible for first time buyers’ relief, it applies to the initial payment and stamp duty on rent.

How can I buy a bigger share in my Shared Ownership property?

You can increase your ownership in your Shared Ownership property through a process known as “staircasing”. This means you can gradually buy a larger share of the property until you own 100%, provided you have the financial resources and the housing association permits full ownership.

The cost of buying the next slice will depend on the current value of your house compared to when you first purchased it. If the value has increased, you will need to pay more; if it has decreased, you will pay less. To determine the cost of the new share, the housing association will assess the value of your property.

It’s a good idea to climb the property ladder, but don’t forget that purchasing additional parts of your home comes with expenses such as valuation and legal fees you must pay.

How do I sell my Shared Ownership property?

If you wish to sell a Shared Ownership property, you must allow the housing association to buy it first.

To begin the process, inform the housing association that you co-own the property with. They will furnish you with a list of surveyors to choose from. You must choose a surveyor to evaluate your property and pay a fee for this service.

After you sell your shared ownership property, the housing association will try to sell it to another eligible buyer. They will charge you a fee for selling the property. Usually, the housing association has eight weeks to find a buyer, but if they fail, you can sell it through an estate agent on the open market. However, the buyer must also qualify for shared ownership.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a shared ownership mortgage?

2. Who is eligible for a shared ownership mortgage?

3. What are the benefits of a shared ownership mortgage?

4. What are the disadvantages of a shared ownership mortgage?

5. How does a shared ownership mortgage work?

6. What is staircasing?

7. How much rent will I have to pay with a shared ownership mortgage?

8. Can I sell my share of the property with a shared ownership mortgage?

9. Can I make improvements to my property with a shared ownership mortgage?

10. How do I apply for a shared ownership mortgage?


  1. Shared ownership mortgages: Buying a share of a property.
  2. Shared ownership Mortgages UK – Fluent Money.
  3. Shared ownership – Which?.
  4. Shared Ownership Mortgages – HomeOwners Alliance.
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