Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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The affordable path to getting on the ladder

With house prices and interest rates expected to climb this year, the upfront costs associated with homebuying may be proving daunting to first time buyers, says MTVH. These increases will also be frustrating to those looking to purchase their first home – especially as reports continue to suggest that paying a mortgage is cheaper than renting

Understandably, recent increases to house prices and energy bills mean that affordability remains a key hurdle to homeownership for new buyers. This is where shared ownership comes in to play; a tried and tested scheme which has successfully provided a realistic route on to the property ladder for over two decades.  

For many first time buyers, shared ownership offers a helping hand by bringing down the initial upfront costs of homeownership. 

With its low deposit requirements, potential buyers have the opportunity to purchase a home at a fraction of the price compared to the open market. Then, through a process called staircasing, buyers have the option to build their shares to full ownership. Not only does this offer a more realistic route to homeownership, but it provides greater access to a wider proportion of buyers.

Shared ownership is stepping up

Shared ownership is described as the “fourth tenure” in the House of Commons briefing paper published in December 2021. It states there are approximately 202,000¹ shared ownership properties in the UK – but there is potential for these numbers to grow significantly over the upcoming years. 

Shared ownership is here to stay and has never been more in demand. Between 2015-2021, shared ownership demand has increased by 23%, and accounts for over a third of new affordable housing.¹ In total, this means that there were around 76,500 shared ownership homes delivered within this period. 

At MTVH – Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing – we have our dedicated shared ownership brand SO Resi, which focuses solely on providing homebuyers with the knowledge they need to buy a home through shared ownership. Shared ownership has helped many priced-out first timers reach their ultimate goal of homeownership, regardless of their situation; from young professionals seeking an apartment in the city, to growing families looking for a more spacious home with outdoor space.

We are determined to become a national force for affordable housing and shall continue to change perceptions and educate first time buyers about the options available to them to get on to the property ladder. 

Accessibility 

The latest ONS data reveals that the average UK house price was £271,000² in November 2021, which is £25,000 higher than just two years ago. Therefore, potential buyers would require a minimum 10% deposit of over £27,000, which is beyond the means of most first time buyers, especially those without any help from the Bank of Mum and Dad. 

As house prices continue to spiral, and temporary products like Help to Buy are phased out, it is our responsibility to collectively work together to support those who need shared ownership the most. There are many hard-working professionals, families and young adults taking on this route to homeownership, never more so than in central London where so many are priced out of homes on the open market.

Shared ownership allows buyers to purchase a home with just a 5% deposit on a minimum 25% share of a home. For example, at SO Resi Ealing, customers can purchase a 25% shared of a one bedroom apartment for £99,988 (full market price £399,950) with a 5% deposit of just £4,999; a much more manageable goal.

Alternatively, Greenford – a hidden gem within the borough of Ealing – offers a quieter and calmer lifestyle away from the city, with an abundance of eateries, shops, and open green spaces. 

Potential buyers can choose from a range of one, two or three bedroom shared ownership apartments at SO Resi Greenford, where a 25% share for a one bedroom apartment costs £82,500 (full price £330,000) and can be purchased with a low 5% deposit of just £4,125. Suddenly the doors of shared ownership are opened to thousands more potential homebuyers and they too can take their first step towards investing in their future. 

sharedownership.co.uk 

¹commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8828

²ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/housepriceindex/november

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