As a housing association that offers thousands of shared ownership properties across the UK through our estate agent arm, Equity Living, we’re going to debunk some of the myths around shared ownership…
Myth #1 – “It’s hard to qualify”
It’s easy to be considered for a shared ownership property, as long as:
- You are at least 18 years old
- You’re not already on the housing ladder
- You’ve owned a house before but can’t afford one now or a first time buyer
- You have a household income of under £80,000 - moving up to £90,000 in London
- You are not already in mortgage or rent arrears
It’s a simple as that – basically, a large proportion of those looking to buy are eligible to apply.
Myth #2 – “Shared ownership properties are only available in less desirable areas”
One of the biggest misconceptions about shared ownership is that properties are badly built and maintained, and only developed in less desirable areas. This is absolutely not the case. Take London, for example, there are shared ownership properties in sought-after areas including Notting Hill, Camden and Southwark.
In addition, regulation now requires that all new developments contain a percentage of affordable housing, some of which will be available to buy through shared ownership, so it is likely that the number of properties available in all locations across the UK will increase significantly in coming years.
Myth #3 – “I’ll be sharing the property with somebody else”
Again, false. On the surface, the name shared ownership can be misleading – only half of respondents in a survey of 2,000 people in the UK knew that shared ownership does not mean living with another person. So, to debunk that myth once and for all, when you move into a shared ownership property, it’s all yours!
Myth #4 – “It’s not really home ownership”
Many people disregard shared ownership as they think it’s not worth owning part of a home. However, for those that can’t afford a 100% mortgage, being able to own a 25-75% share allows them to get on the property ladder and not be faced with the prospect of renting for longer periods.
Some owners use shared ownership as a stepping stone towards 100 per cent owner occupation, increasing their share as they can afford to, and end up owning the entire house outright. We call this staircasing. But even if this isn’t for you, it’s equally okay to just stick with owning a percentage of the home.
In addition, the scheme offers more security than renting as residents won’t have to up sticks and move out when a landlord wants to sell the property and the home can be decorated as you like.
It’s also worth mentioning that shared ownership properties increase in value the same as other properties, meaning that when you decide you want to move, you should have some equity towards your next property.
Myth #5 – “It will be more difficult to get a mortgage on”
Shared ownership purchasers will need to provide a deposit for 5-10% of the value of their share of the property and then secure a mortgage for the remainder of that share. While not all mortgage providers have shared ownership options, more and more are beginning to offer them as awareness of the scheme grows – most big banks and lenders now offer this as an option. Currently, there are enough options for buyers to be able to shop around and find a suitable product for them.
However, if you are struggling, the housing association you buy the property through should have existing relationships with brokers and lenders that should be able to advise and help.
A sensible option for many
Whilst shared ownership isn’t the only answer to solving the housing crisis, it helps people on low to mid-range incomes to get a foot on the property ladder, rather than being faced with the prospect of renting for their entire lives. Here at Equity Housing Group, our shared ownership properties are in a number of locations and resided by a number of different demographic groups and backgrounds – whether that’s young professionals looking to get onto the property ladder, couples that can’t quite afford to buy their first home, or lower income families.
‘Shared ownership has allowed me to get my foot on the property ladder in my early twenties, without it I would have struggled to do so at this young age. With rental prices so high these days it makes it near impossible for young people to rent and save to buy at the same time, this is a great meet in the middle. I would recommend Shared Ownership to those with a low deposit saved who do not want to waste money renting.’ Mike
Listed below are our Shared Ownership properties we have available:
Sandbach Road, Alsager
Anderton Close, Sandbach
Mulberry Park, Ellesmere Port
Stanthorne Place, Middlewich