Are you looking to buy a home, but find property prices are too expensive? Shared ownership may be the answer.
Shared ownership is a simple, affordable way to own a brand new home that means you part buy and part rent a home. At first you buy a share of your property and pay a rent, and sometimes service charges, on the rest. Over time if your lease allows it, you can choose to buy more shares in your home until you own all of it.
What are the benefits?
If you buy through shared ownership:
- you will own part of your home, rather than paying rent with no stake in the ownership
- your monthly mortgage and rent can work out much cheaper than buying outright, and private renting
- you can normally buy more shares or sell your home at any time
- you only buy what you and we feel you can afford so you don’t overstretch yourself financially
Buying through shared ownership makes you an owner-occupier. You start off buying a share in your new home on a 125-year lease. Your lease is a legal document that proves you own part of your home. Your lease sets out certain conditions such as:
- how often your rent and service charge goes up
- how much it will go up by
- what you should expect from us; and
- your rights and responsibilities as owner occupier
If you decide to buy the remaining share of your home, you will own your home outright and no longer pay rent to us.
If you own a house, you’ll get the freehold like any other homeowner. If you own an apartment, you’ll remain a leaseholder like any other apartment owner. This is because your home is in a block of apartments and your lease sets out responsibilities for the use and maintenance to all shared areas. You will still be responsible for any ground rent and service charges.
Are you eligible?
Before applying to buy a shared ownership property you should check that you’re eligible. You should be able to say Yes to all of the following statements:
- I am registered with Help to Buy South
- I am aged over 18 years old
- My household income is less than £80,000 a year
- I have between £3,000 - £10,000 of savings to cover the costs of buying
- I do not own another property
- I have a good credit history
- I am unable to buy a home suitable for my housing needs.
Find a home to buy
If you think you’re eligible, then have a look at the properties we currently have available for shared ownership. You can find details on how to apply to buy a property listed with its details.
What happens after you’ve applied?
We aim to sell our shared ownership properties to first-time buyers who are unable to afford to buy a suitable home in any other way.
With every home that we sell we carry out specific affordability assessment to make sure that the property is right for you and that you can afford to keep it. We will ask to see several documents to enable us to carry out a financial assessment, such as wage slips, bank statements, etc.
If we have more households interested than the number of homes available to buy, we will prioritise households according to the following criteria:
- those currently serving in the British armed forces or whom have recently been discharged
- existing social housing tenants
- applicants who are considered to be in a high housing need
- first-come, first-served (subject to a successful financial assessment).
Latest shared ownership news
New shared ownership homes in Bristol were snapped up within a matter of hours after becoming available last week.
We're expecting lots of interest in our latest shared ownership homes for which applications are now open.
Applications opened this morning for our all of the shared ownership properties at our Irving Close development in Staple Hill.
Forty new affordable homes will be coming to Whitchurch over the next two years thanks to Merlin.
Applications are open for our latest shared ownership properties in Bath, as our homebuilding programme continues to grow.