What Is Shared Ownership?

House prices keep rising, making it harder for people to get on the property ladder, especially if you are a first-time buyer. Shared ownership makes owning a home more affordable and is an option open to first-time buyers and people who used to own a home.

Shared ownership is a government scheme offered by Help to Buy. Homebuyers can take out shared ownership mortgages to buy part of the property. Homebuyers then pay rent at a reduced rate on the share they do not own.

If you take advantage of this scheme, you can increase the share you own (staircase up) to gradually own more of the property and even work your way up to complete homeownership. As you buy a greater share in the property, the portion you pay rent on decreases.


How Does Shared Ownership Work?

Shared ownership properties give you a mix of buying and renting with the initial choice of buying between 25% and 75% of your home. Shared ownership houses include new build homes and homes offered through resale programmes run by housing associations.

You will need to take out a mortgage or pay for your share of the property using your savings. All properties are sold on a leasehold only basis. You should be aware that as your home’s value increases, so does the price to buy the remaining share. You will also need to pay for a new valuation each time you buy further shares.


Am I Eligible?

You can join the shared ownership scheme if you are a first-time buyer, if you used to own a home but cannot afford to buy one today, or if you are in the shared ownership scheme and wish to move.

However, your household needs to be earning £80,000 per year or less if you live outside of London, or £90,000 per year or less if you live inside London. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland run their own variation of the scheme.

If you are aged 55 or older, you can apply to the Older People’s Shared Ownership Scheme. If you are over 55, you can buy up to 75% of the property through this scheme. Once you own 75%, you will not need to pay rent on the remaining share. If you are disabled and struggling to get on the property ladder, the Home Ownership for People with Long-term Disabilities Scheme (HOLD) may be helpful.

If you are eligible, you should speak to your local council’s housing team or housing association. You will still need to pass affordability checks determined by your mortgage lender and provide a deposit. The deposit may be smaller than the deposit you would need if you were buying a house outright.

Furthermore, you should budget for the costs any home buyer would have, such as mortgage fees, stamp duty, moving costs, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and a service charge, if the property is a flat.


"A challenging site like no other with every inch of the plot being built on and 12 apartments built-out through a driveway 2.5m wide off of a main high street with limited access rights, not to mention all the complexities associated with 13 Party Wall Agreements. Most lenders would not have had the vision for the scheme or the confidence in Spiller Builders to build out the scheme.  I just wanted to say how helpful the entire BLG team have been during the build. A very approachable and knowledgeable team, with a “can do” approach to lending. We will be looking to do more business with you for sure."

“We have used BLG for development finance for over 8 years. During that time we have found their knowledge and expertise in the property development industry to be second to none. Their loan process, pragmatic and flexible approach to lending and flexibility when required has supported our business needs throughout the period and provided us with support to deliver new homes in Bristol and the surrounding areas.”

“As property developers you never know the curve balls that you may get and a project that is great on paper may prove a bit more tricky.  This happened to us on a project that BLG have funded and throughout they have supported us.  Our business likes to be collaborative and when we hit those tough moments it really felt like we were working as a team with BLG.  If you have a decent project you can get it funded, but what you really need is a business that is there to support and advise you as well.  For us on this project it was BLG.”

“I approached BLG Development finance with an opportunity I had in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, to build 5 new build houses in 2021. My main contact was Anil Bains who is a Director covering Asset Management. Within very quick timescales, BLG provided me with indicative quotes in regards the finance levels they could offer me. Having considered those levels, I requested a valuation to be carried out which again was dealt with swiftly. We proceeded to completion. The build went very smoothly with monthly monitoring being carried out by BLG and monthly drawdown requests dealt with in a very timely manner. Due to a difficult time generally in the market in regards selling, I was in need of a six-month extension to the loan which again was appraised very quickly and granted. Having dealt with numerous funders over the last 20 years, I can only speak highly of my personal experience with BLG and would very confidently work with them again on any future projects. “

"From our side it has also been a pleasure working with BLG and the team there. We have found you easy to deal with, proactive in resolving any minor issues that have arisen through the project and shown great flexibility in working with us as a partner. We will certainly like to work with you on future partners."

“I really appreciate your hard work. We really like the way you communicate & I must say I haven't seen many people who are that approachable.”

“A very efficient processing team, dealing with the DD once deal credit approved, through to completion”

“Many thanks for your efforts on this one and getting it approved and sorted so swiftly, very much appreciated. I am sure I will be speaking to your over the coming months.”

“We had other funding options, but chose to use BLG again, as we work well with the team, who always provide very clear information and advice with a friendly approach throughout the funding process. Very efficient and always very helpful.”

“Many thanks Anil, it’s been a real pleasure working with BLG so far.  We’re lining up the next project too”

“We would recommend all staff we have dealt with at BLG, as we are very satisfied with the team and the initial offer/terms presented, then you and the funding team, through to the draw down team at valuation stage.”

“All documents are clear and the way you keep clients informed, all the way along the funding process, is refreshing for us”

“With regard to what should be improved at BLG, we work with many lenders in our business and we do not get the help and response we have had on the two projects with all at BLG on our funding for our developments.”

“We would particularly mention Dave Edwards and Tom Pitts as being central to having a smooth working relationship and being positive and helpful at all times. Their guidance in helping us navigate the project from inception to completion was invaluable. As was their patience, particularly at the beginning. We look forward to many future projects with the BLG team.”

“We would like to express our appreciation for your support on our development in Bristol. We were very pleased that, from the outset, you shared our vision of the project to convert a dated but classical building, that had outlived its usefulness as a school, into unique luxury apartments with views overlooking the city. We found our dealings practical and streamlined. Monthly payments were processed in an efficient and timely manner.”

“BLG are very good at communicating with clients and all documents are very clear and all at BLG are always happy to help.”

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