What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership is a government-backed scheme, designed to make stepping onto or along the property ladder more affordable. There are many benefits to buying a home with the Shared Ownership scheme. If you are struggling to raise a large enough mortgage to buy a home, or perhaps you have a good income but not enough deposit, or just find that homes in the area you want to live are simply out of reach, Shared Ownership could be your answer.

At Southern Housing New Homes our range of homes available with Shared Ownership include something for everyone, from quiet countryside homes to contemporary city centre apartments. You won’t be able to buy just any home with Shared Ownership but there is plenty of choice in hotspots across the country which are either new or existing homes, known as ‘resales’.

You’ll start by buying from 25% up to 75% of a home, and pay a subsidised rent on the remaining part you don’t buy from us. The bit you own is called a share (don’t worry, it’s not called Shared Ownership because you HAVE to share with someone, unless you want to of course!)

For example, if you buy 40% of a home valued £300,000, you’ll typically need a 5% deposit of £6,000, get a mortgage for the rest of the share value, and pay rent on the remaining 60%.In the future, whenever you can afford to do so, you can buy more shares to increase what percentage you own, right up to 100%. This is called staircasing. The more you own, the less rent you’ll pay. If or when you come to sell, we have a team on hand to help you with this part of your journey with Southern New Homes.

So, if you don’t currently own a home, your household income is less than £80,000, or £90,000 if looking to buy in London, and you have savings to cover your deposit and standard buying fees, Shared Ownership with Southern New Homes could be what you’re looking for.

What is Shared Ownership? FAQs

Shared Ownership is a government-backed home ownership scheme designed to help people to buy a home who may otherwise not be able to due to income and affordability. It allows you to buy a share of a property between 25% - 75%, paying a mortgage on the share you own, and paying a subsidised rent on the remaining share. It's an affordable way to get on the property ladder with lower upfront costs.

The process of buying a Shared Ownership home isn’t drastically different from buying any other new build home, and it can be relatively straightforward. The process involves: • Finding your dream home, and making a reservation. Having a financial assessment to determine your eligibility and decide what percentage of the property can afford to buy. • Securing a mortgage for the share of the property you are purchasing. • Appointing a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of your purchase. • Signing and exchanging contracts. • Paying the agreed down payment. • And, the most exciting part, collecting the keys to your new home!

Firstly, you may want to check your eligibility with a financial advisor and then, if eligible, you’ll be in a good position to reach out to our team who’ll be able to help you with the next stages of your journey. You can apply for Shared Ownership through our website by completing an application form or speaking to our dedicated sales team by phone on 0300 555 2171 or by email, at sales@southernhousing.org.uk.

Most Shared Ownership homes are purchased with a mortgage. However, it is possible for cash buyers to buy a portion up to 75% of a Shared Ownership home without a mortgage. They would still have to make rental payments on the remaining portion they don’t own.

Shared Ownership isn’t exclusive to first-time buyers, but it is suited to those looking to get on the property ladder who may not be able to buy a home otherwise. Those who already own a home, however, must have sold already, or be in the process of selling their home.

There’s typically no strict age limit for Shared Ownership, but you must be at least 18 years old. There’s also a separate Shared Ownership Scheme for those aged 55+.

Only properties that are built specifically for the purpose of Shared Ownership may be bought under the scheme. Shared Ownership properties are typically new builds but can also be resales. Check our properties page or available properties.

Check out the properties page on our website to view our current Shared Ownership listings or visit property portals such as Zoopla or Share To Buy (a specialist Shared Ownership Portal). You can also sign up for property alerts or speak to an estate agent to stay informed about new opportunities under the scheme.

While we specialise in new build homes, Shared Ownership can apply to both new build and resale properties that were bought as part of the scheme and the owner wishes to sell on. It depends on what’s available in your desired location.

Your monthly payments will include your mortgage repayment for the share you purchase via a mortgage provider of your choice, and the rental payment on the remaining share, which you pay to us. Homes are sold on a leasehold basis. When your lease is first issued, your rental sum is generally calculated at 3% of the share you pay rent on. For example, on a £200,000 home that you own 50% of and pay rent on the other 50%, you would expect to pay £3000 per year (3% of £100,000), which works out at £250 in monthly rent.

While the minimum share you can officially buy is 10%, most providers typically start from 25% of the property's value. It can vary by development, so it’s worth checking in with your provider.

As a Shared Owner, you’re responsible for maintaining and repairing your home, just like any other homeowner and regardless of what share you own. However, it’s always worth checking your building warranty: some costs may be covered and some things may benefit from an initial repair period.

The good news is, that Shared Ownership can work out cheaper than private renting. The rental cost of a Shared Ownership property is subsidised by the Government and there are restrictions on rent rises. It also allows you to build equity in your home, holding part of it as an asset while paying subsidised rent on the remaining share, which is typically more cost-effective in the long term.

Feel free to start researching this season’s colour schemes: you can decorate and make improvements to your Shared Ownership home as you desire. However, your Shared Ownership lease will have details about major alterations to the property, e.g. new flooring, structural changes, which you may need to get permission for before work commences.

Yes, but you need permission to make significant alterations to your home, with structural changes typically not allowed. Our friendly team will be able to advise on any specific alterations which you may have in mind.

Don’t panic! Shared Ownership doesn’t mean shared living. Shared Ownership properties can be purchased individually or with a partner or family member. It's a flexible option that often helps single buyers to get on the property ladder.

Some furry friends are allowed in certain Shared Ownership properties, but it's essential to check with us and review your lease for any specific restrictions.

Leasehold ownership is a long tenancy. Shared Ownership properties are typically leasehold because of the rented part of the property, giving you the right to occupy the home for a longer period, or for the ‘term’ of the lease. As part of the Government’s Affordable Homes Programme, it is expected that lease terms will be extended to 999 years as standard. Your lease will outline your rights and responsibilities as a homeowner.

A resale property is a Shared Ownership home that is being sold by the current owner. You can purchase their share and take over their lease.

Staircasing is the process of purchasing additional shares in your Shared Ownership property, helping you increase your ownership percentage over time. For example, if you started by holding 25% of your home’s lease, you could buy another 25% share, which would mean you hold a 50% share. Dependent on the terms of your lease, you can even build up to 100% ownership of your home.

You can sell your Shared Ownership home at any time, and we’re here to help you do so. We have a unique database of people who are looking for a Shared Ownership home, and under the terms of your lease, you will have a nomination period of 8 weeks in which we can assist you to find another Shared Ownership buyer for your property. We have a great track record of finding buyers within the set nomination period, but if we’re unsuccessful, you’re allowed to sell your Shared Ownership home on the open property market at a 100% share.

In most cases, subletting in a Shared Ownership home isn’t allowed. It could be a condition of your mortgage as your Shared Ownership home is designed to be your primary residence. Under some exceptional circumstances, you may be able to sublet for a specified period, in which case you’ll be required to obtain written permission first. Renting individual rooms (taking a lodger) can be agreed but be sure to check your lease agreement before doing so.

You usually need to pay a monthly service charge when you buy a Shared Ownership home. A service charge covers the cost of keeping those shared areas and facilities in your development looking beautiful, such as, communal gardens, lifts and other communal spaces. You’ll be able to find more information around the specifics of your service charge within your lease agreement.

As a Shared Owner, you’re responsible for paying your mortgage repayments, rent, service charge and insurance. It’s also your responsibility to keep the property in good repair. You’ll need to seek permission before carrying out any structural changes. And to allow us reasonable access to the property if given advance notice, we’ll always give a clear explanation why we want access, so we won’t be dropping by unannounced – we’ll leave that to your family members. It’s also expected that you will not be involved in any anti-social behaviour at the property and that you’ll give us notice if you intend to sell your share in the house.

Without a property chain to slow down the process, buying a home with Shared Ownership is typically much quicker than buying on the open market. An average timeframe can range from one to three months from the initial application to completion, while buying a home outright takes on average six months to complete. The time can vary depending on several factors.

While not legally required, it’s highly recommended that a survey is conducted on any new build property before purchase. This can help identify any potential issues that may have been missed or caused during the building process, such as cosmetic issues with paint, or misaligned fixtures like handles and hinges. Any issues found during a survey tend to be minor, but they’re also an opportunity to reveal more serious concerns, like structural problems. It’s important that any issues are fixed before you move in so that you can relax into your dream new home.

As a Shared Owner, you’re responsible for maintaining and repairing your home, just like any other homeowner regardless of what share you own. However, it’s always worth checking your building warranty: some costs may be covered and some things may benefit from an initial repair period.