Shared Ownership

Struggling to afford a new home? Find out about Shared Ownership - a government scheme that allows you to buy a share of a property and pay rent on the rest.

Shared Ownership at a glance

Deposit needed

Minimum 5% of the share of the property you're buying.

Ownership

Part-buy, part-rent.

Household income required

Less than £80,000 (£90,000 in London).

Availability

England only. See other schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership is a government scheme that offers you the chance to buy a share of a property from a housing association, a non-profit-making body that provides homes.

Because you only own a part of the property, you can buy it with a smaller deposit and mortgage. A smaller mortgage means smaller repayments but you’ll also need to pay:

  • rent on the share of the property you do not yet own

  • monthly service charges

  • ground rent

Shared Ownership homes can be new builds, existing properties, houses or flats. All Shared Ownership properties are leasehold, even houses, which is unusual.

To be eligible for Shared Ownership you need to:

  • be a first-time buyer, an existing shared ownership homeowner, or a former homeowner who can't afford to buy now

  • be over 18 years old

  • have an annual household income of less than £80,000 (£90,000 in London)

“If you cannot quite afford the mortgage on 100% of a home, the Shared Ownership scheme gives you the opportunity to ‘part-rent’ and ‘part-buy’ your home. The scheme offers a flexible option to aspiring first-time buyers, supporting them into home ownership.”

Christopher Pincher MP

Minister for Housing

How does Shared Ownership work?

When you buy a Shared Ownership home, you decide what stake in the property you can afford to buy from the housing association. You put down a deposit of at least 5% of your stake and take out a mortgage to cover the rest. You then pay rent on the part you do not own.

You can increase the share you own in the property, through a process known as staircasing, until you own 75% of the property, or in some cases 100%. Not all housing associations let you get to 100%, so be sure to check first. 

There’s a legal cost every time you staircase so it may make sense to buy bigger chunks. Plus, some housing associations have a limit on how many times you can do it. 

The government announced a new version of Shared Ownership in April 2021, but it won’t be available on homes for sale until 2022 (with a limited number available before then). The best way to check if a home qualifies for the new version is to ask the provider when you make an enquiry. 

Head hurting? Yes, us too.

Shared Ownership pros and cons

The pros

  • You can get onto the property ladder sooner because of the smaller deposit and mortgage

  • It’s more affordable for those on a lower income

  • You can increase your share in the property as and when you can afford it

  • It’s available on new-build homes and existing properties

The cons

  • Shared Ownership properties are leasehold, rather than freehold, so you will not own the land the property is on

  • You have to pay service charge that comes with the property regardless of how big your stake is - and you may have to pay ground rent too

  • When you come to sell, you may have to do it through the Shared Ownership scheme rather than on the open market

  • Buying more of the property over time comes at a cost

Find Shared Ownership properties for sale

How the existing Shared Ownership scheme compares with the new version

Shared Ownership available on homes until 2023NEW Shared Ownership available on homes from 2022
Minimum deposit5% of your share in the property5% of your share in the property
Minimum share of property for sale for sale25%10%
Minimum 'staircasing'10% share each year1% share each year, with reduced fees
Who covers repairsYou are responsible for carrying out repairsYou receive support from your landlord for essential repairs for 10 years
Exclusivity period for landlord to sell8 weeks4 to 8 weeks

How Shared Ownership compares to Help to Buy

Buying schemeHelp to Buy: Equity LoanShared Ownership
OverviewHelps first-time buyers in England purchase a new-build home. Regional price caps are in place. Allows buyers in England to buy part of a property and pay rent on the rest.
BenefitsAllows you to buy a new-build home with a small deposit.Enables you to buy a share of a property with a small deposit.
DepositAt least 5% of the property value. The government tops this up with a loan of up to 20% of the property value (40% in London).At least 5% of your share of the property.
RequirementsYou need to provide 80% of the property value (60% in London) in total. For example, with a 5% deposit and a 75% LTV mortgage. Your annual household income must be less than £80,000 (£90,000 in London).
OwnershipFull ownership once your loan from the government and mortgage have been repaid.Own up to 75% of the property value once your mortgage has been repaid. You can build this share up gradually.

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