What is Shared Ownership & the Benefits?

The shared ownership scheme is created for aspiring homeowners to get onto the property ladder easier than using the regular homeownership scheme. Please refer to our shared ownership buyers guide for further information on how shared ownership works and the shared ownership criteria.

Shared ownership apartments in Chatham buyers

What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership offers you the opportunity to purchase a share in a newly built property and get on the property ladder, which is quite challenging for many people. When you buy a home as part of a shared ownership scheme, you pay a mortgage on the share you own and pay rent to St Arthur Homes on the remaining share. As you only need a mortgage for the share you are buying, the amount required for a deposit is typically much lower when compared to purchasing a home outright. This scheme means that many people can afford to buy a home as a shared owner. Please refer to our handy guide – Shared Ownership Buyers Guide

Shared ownership homes offer several benefits that home buyers can look forward to having:

  • Affordability: Possibly one of the most popular benefits and in comparison to buying a home through a home ownership scheme, shared ownership allows individuals or families to get on the property ladder with a lower initial deposit and mortgage. With St Arthur Homes, you’ll purchase a share of one of our newly built properties, usually between 25% and 75%, and pay rent on the remaining portion.
  • Reduced Monthly Costs: As you’re only paying for a mortgage on the portion of the property that you own a share in, the monthly costs are typically lower than if you were buying a property outright.  
  • Opportunity to Increase Equity: No matter how much of the property you own, with a shared ownership home, you can increase the amount of your ownership as your financial situation improves gradually. This is also known as staircasing and can eventually lead to owning the whole property outright.
  • Stability and Security: As long as you’re meeting your full mortgage and rent payments, shared ownership offers stability and security that full ownership buying does not because of the reduced financial burden on individuals or families.
  • Potential for Property Appreciation: If the property value of your shared ownership home increases over time, you can benefit from the appreciation on the portion you own.
  • Flexibility: Unlike rental properties that can be more restricted, with a shared ownership home you are able to personalise the home to your taste and incorporate more of your personality with freedom. 
  • Access to Better Locations: Shared ownership allows individuals or families the ability to live in sought-out areas that would be unaffordable if being purchased outright. 
  • Option to Sell: If you choose to sell your share of the home, you can do so at any time. Individuals or families need to consider that the home can appreciate or depreciate. It’s important to note that the process of selling may differ from selling a fully owned property. 
  • Government Support: depending on where you are, there may be Government incentives to promote and encourage the shared ownership scheme such as bursaries, mortgage terms or subsidies.

With any property buying scheme, it is important to fully read and understand the details before committing to a shared ownership arrangement.

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Outside of London your annual household income must be less than £80,000.
  • In London, your annual household income must be less than £90,000.
  • You cannot own another home. Shared Ownership purchasers are often first time buyers, but if you do already own another property (either in the UK or abroad), you must be in the process of selling it.
  • You should not be able to afford to buy a home suitable for your housing needs on the open market.
  • You must show you are not in mortgage or rent arrears.
  • You must be able to demonstrate you have a good credit history (no bad debts or County Court Judgements) and can afford the regular payments and costs involved in buying a home.
  • You will generally need a deposit of 5–10% of the equity share that you are purchasing.

Please refer to our handy guide – Getting Mortgage Ready.

Getting Mortgage Ready

Yes. Once you have lived in your home and decide you’d like to buy further shares, you can do so through a process known as staircasing. This allows you to build up the percentage you own in your home all the way up to 100%.

The route to staircasing depends on whether you bought under the original Shared Ownership scheme or under the new model. Please refer to your Lease for more details.

If you bought under the original scheme and want to buy additional shares in your home, you’ll first need to contact your housing provider and give notice that you intend to staircase. You’ll need to arrange (and pay for) an independent valuer to value your home. Once you get a copy of the valuation, you’ll be asked to confirm whether you would like to proceed with the process.

If you bought under the new model, you have the option to staircase by 1% each year for 15 years from the date of purchase. If you take up the option of 1% Shared Ownership staircasing, the price of a 1% share will be based on the original price of your home, increased or decreased in line with the House Price Index (HPI). You won’t be required to pay for an independent valuation.

For more information, please refer to our handy guide – Buying More Shares in your Shared Ownership Home.

Buying more shares in your Shared Ownership home

Yes. If you decide it’s time to move on, simply contact us. We will then market and sell your home for a period of time (typically four weeks).

If we find a buyer, the process from there is similar to the one you went through when you bought your home. If a buyer isn’t found in this time, you can choose to sell your property privately or through an estate agent of your choice.

Selling your Shared Ownership home