Shared Ownership

 

Help to Buy Shared Ownership is great opportunity for anyone who wants to get a foot on the property ladder but can’t afford to buy a home outright on the open market.

The scheme gives you the chance to buy a share in a brand new leasehold property (either a house or an apartment) on a part buy/part rent basis.

You buy a share of between 25% and 75% of a home from a registered provider, usually a housing association. You then pay a subsidised monthly rent to the housing association for the remaining share. 

It's not just new properties that are available to buy under Shared Ownership. From time to time, older properties can become available for resale.

To qualify for Help to Buy Shared Ownership, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You can’t afford to buy a home on the open market
  • You have a household income of less than £80,000 per year.
  • Applicants are primarily expected to be first time buyers, although applicants who currently own or have previously owned a property may be considered for the scheme.
  • You are at least 18 years of age.
  • You have a good credit rating.
  • You have at least £1,500 savings to cover one-off costs involved in buying your new home such as solicitor costs. This does not include any mortgage deposits, developer reservation fees or stamp duty (if applicable). Most schemes will require you to have a deposit of at least 5% of the share you are buying.

How does Shared Ownership work?

You buy a share of between 25% and 75% in a new home then pay a subsidised rent, usually to a Housing Association, for the remaining share.

The share you buy is worked out by the Registered Provider (usually a Housing Association) based on what you can afford. The bigger the share you buy, the less rent you have to pay.

You will need to be able to raise a mortgage for the share you want to purchase unless you have sufficient savings to buy your share outright.

Help to Buy Shared Ownership is great if you have limited savings, as you only need a deposit for the share you're buying and if you buy a small share, you'll only have a small mortgage.

There will also be other costs to consider when you are purchasing a home which could include mortgage fees, valuation fees, solicitor fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax and moving costs.

Please note that for some shared ownership properties you may need to show that you have a connection to the area to qualify. The housing association selling the property will advise you if there are any local connection requirements.

You will need to apply to us to see if you qualify for Shared Ownership. Once we have received your completed application we will assess it to see if you are eligible for the scheme you've chosen. It's important that you can sustain your purchase financially and are not over-stretching yourself as once you have been approved for the scheme the housing association will check to make sure you meet Homes England's sustainability and affordability criteria. 

Click here for Home England's shared ownership affordability calculator (Section.1 Help to Buy Shared Ownership - 6: Sustainability & Affordability)

Am I eligible for Help to Buy Shared Ownership?

Help to Buy Shared Ownership (including Shared Ownership Resales & Rent to Buy) uses criteria to assess if people qualify for the scheme. 

You may be eligible for Shared Ownership if:

  • You can’t afford to buy a home on the open market
  • You have a household income of less than £80,000 per year
  • You are a first time buyer.  However, if you currently own or have previously owned a property, you may be considered for the scheme.  If you currently own a property, it will need to be "sold subject to contract" (you have formally accepted an offer on it) when you apply to us and must be sold when you complete the purchase of a new home.
  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • You have a good credit rating
  • You have at least £1,500 savings to cover the one-off costs involved in buying your new home, such as solicitor fees. This does not include any mortgage deposits, developer reservation fees or stamp duty (if applicable). Most schemes will require you to have a deposit of at least 5% of the share you are buying.

 

How do I find a Shared Ownership property?

You can search for Shared Ownership properties by using our online property search or you can contact Housing Associations direct. Click here to view a list of Housing Associations in the East and West Midlands.

Before you start searching for a home, it is advisable to register and complete an application form so we can assess if you qualify for a shared ownership home.

How do I apply for Shared Ownership?

You can apply to see if you qualify for Shared Ownership by registering and completing our online application form.

To apply as a single applicant click here: https://www.hostedfiles.co.uk/forms.orbit?id=HomeBuySole

To apply as Joint applicant (s) click here: https://www.hostedfiles.co.uk/forms.orbit?id=HomeBuyDual

Please note If you are completing the application on a hand held device it may take longer to complete.

Application advice:

If you wish to pause whilst completing your application, use the ‘save’ option. You are then able to go back to your application at your convenience.

Please ensure you click on the correct button to tell us whether you are a single or joint applicant(s). Failure to do so may result in us incorrectly assessing your affordability and delay your application.

If you are unsure of which Help to Buy product you wish to apply for, please click here for all Help to Buy Options.

What happens next?

Once we have received your completed application we will assess it to see if you qualify for the scheme you've chosen. It's important that you can sustain your purchase financially and are not over-stretching yourself as once you have been approved for the scheme the housing association will check to make sure you meet Homes England's sustainability and affordability criteria. 

We will let you know the outcome of your application usually within 4 working days. If you qualify then you can start looking for your new home.

I am unable to apply online - can I still apply?

If applying online is unsuitable for you, please contact us on 03458 50 20 50 option 2 and we will help you.

What if I want to buy more shares in my home?

Buying a Shared Ownership home is a great way of getting your foot on the home ownership ladder as you can buy more shares in your home; this is known as ‘staircasing’. 

You can usually buy additional shares in stages (minimum of a 10% share) right up until you own the property outright. But check your lease to see if there are any restrictions on staircasing before you commit to buy.

If you wish to staircase and purchase additional shares you will need to get in touch with your Housing Association to discuss your next steps.

Your home will need to be valued by an independent surveyor so you can agree on how much you will pay for the additional shares. You will have to instruct a solicitor to act for you in the purchase of the additional shares. It's down to you to pay the valuation fee, solicitor's fees and any administration fees that your Housing Association may charge. 

Your Housing Association is the best place to go for more information on the process of purchasing extra shares in your home.

What if I want to sell my shared ownership home in the future?

As a shared owner, you can move on by selling the share you own to someone else. You’ll need to get in touch with your Housing Association, who’ll arrange for your home to be valued by an independent surveyor. You’ll be responsible for the cost of this valuation, which is usually around £150.  

Once you’ve agreed the sale with your Housing Association they’ll begin marketing it for you, so they can prioritise potential buyers.  They can also advertise it on this website.  Your Housing Association will be able to provide you with more information about selling your home.

As with any house sale, once you’ve found a buyer, you’ll need to instruct a solicitor to act in the sale of your home and you’ll be responsible for these fees.

You can also appoint an estate agent to help you sell your home, but this will be at your own cost.

 

Shared Ownership Resales

Shared Ownership resale properties are homes that have previously been bought through the Shared Ownership scheme and vary in size, age and type.

They come up for sale when their owners are looking to sell their share and move on. Which means that Shared Ownership resales are a good way to get on the property ladder especially if you want to buy a property in an area where there are currently no new developments.

Resales work in just the same way as Shared Ownership the only difference is that it's not a brand new home and you are usually buying the same percentage share as the previous owner. 

You can search for Shared Ownership resale properties in our online property search. 

I'm already a shared owner, can I buy again?

Yes, there are no restrictions which prevent existing shared owners from applying for and moving into another Shared Ownership property. However, you must continue to meet the general eligibility criteria of earning less per household than £80,000 and be otherwise unable to afford to purchase unassisted. Existing shared owners are also required to have disposed  of their existing shared ownership home at the point of purchase.

Shared Ownership Affordability Calculator

Once we have received your completed application we will assess it to see if you qualify for the scheme you've chosen. It's important that you can sustain your purchase financially and are not over-stretching yourself as once you have been approved for the scheme the housing association will check to make sure you meet Homes England's sustainability and affordability criteria. 

Click on the link below to access Homes England's sustainability calculator and guidance for affordable home ownership. Go to  Help to Buy: Shared Ownership and then scroll down to Sustainability and affordability to access the calculators and guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/capital-funding-guide