Press release

Shared ownership boost for budding homeowners

The government is relaxing the criteria for those who can apply for the shared ownership scheme from April.

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Aspiring homeowners around the country could need a deposit of as little as £1,500 to realise their dream of homeownership under new measures announced by the government.

Thousands of people could benefit from an extension to the shared ownership scheme, which allows people to part buy and part rent their home and watch their equity grow over time.

The government is relaxing the criteria for those who can apply for the scheme from April 2016, meaning 175,000 more people will be eligible for homeownership across the country.

It is part of a national crusade to help a million more people into homeownership, including investing £4 billion to build an additional 135,000 shared ownership homes.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:

We’re determined to ensure that hardworking people right across the country once again see home ownership as an achievable ambition to achieve.

Shared ownership schemes have proved a real help to first-time buyers, but punitive restrictions have locked too many out of this opportunity to buy.

These changes will open the door for thousands of people across the country to own their own home.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:

We believe that anybody who works hard and aspires to own their own home should have the opportunity to realise their dream.

Shared ownership is a great way for people to achieve that with just a fraction of the deposit they would normally need. Now thanks to our vision thousands more people will be able to benefit from this scheme.

It’s all part of a national crusade to turn generation rent into generation buy, helping one million more people into homeownership.

Hear Brandon Lewis on Audioboom

Shared ownership has been available since the 1980s but has been restricted with local councils dictating who should be a priority based on a wide of range of factors from salary to profession to where the buyer comes from.

Under the new measures the scheme will be opened up to people of any occupation while income caps will also be raised, meaning families earning up to £90,000 in London and £80,000 elsewhere could be eligible.

It means a family in the North East for instance could need a deposit of just £1,500 to buy a 25% share in a typical shared ownership property in the region.

  Property type Typical shared ownership price 25% share 5% deposit on 25% share
North East 3 bed house £125,000 £31,250 £1,563
North West 3 bed house £153,000 £38,250 £1,913
Yorkshire & Humber 2 bed house £115,000 £28,750 £1,438
East Midlands 2 bed house £130,000 £32,500 £1,625
West Midlands 2 bed house £135,000 £33,750 £1,688
East of England 2 bed house £175,000 £43,750 £2,188
London 1 bed flat £275,000 £68,750 £3,438
South East 2 bed flat £190,000 £47,500 £2,375
South West 2 bed house £160,000 £40,000 £2,000

The government has put home ownership at the heart of its long-term economic plan, recently doubling the investment for 2018 to 2019 to £8 billion to deliver more than 400,000 affordable homes. This will include:

  • £4.1 billion for 135,000 Help to Buy: Shared Ownership homes, which will allow people to buy a share in their home and increase that equity over time
  • £2.3 billion towards delivering 200,000 new Starter Homes, which will be available at 20% discount to young first-time buyers
  • £1.6 billion for 100,000 affordable homes for rent
  • £8.6 billion to extend the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme to 2021 – supporting 145,000 families into new homes

Taken together, it will deliver 1 million new homes by 2021.

The government has recently launched a national campaign for homeownership that uses the creative approach of opening doors in both images and words with the strapline ‘open the door to owning your own home’.

Anyone thinking about home ownership – and those who believe it is out of reach – can find out what government help they could get by answering a few simple questions at www.ownyourhome.gov.uk.

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Published 7 January 2016