Everything you need to know about Shared Ownership 

Shared Ownership is part of the UK government’s Help to Buy scheme. Find out about how you can apply, what types of homes you can get, and how OneDome can help.

What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership is part of the UK government’s Help to Buy scheme and is designed to give first-time home buyers a chance to own a share of a home, usually between 25% and 75% of the property’s value. This share will come with a mortgage, just like normal property purchase, except it is a mortgage on a specific percentage of the property’s total worth.

As a result, the amount of a deposit a first-time buyer needs is significantly less than what they’d need if they were buying the property in full. It is also possible to eventually purchase 100% of the property in a process known as ‘staircasing’. This makes Shared Ownership an attractive option for people looking to start on the property ladder. The best part is they don’t necessarily need to have the capital to do so.

Am I eligible for Shared Ownership?

If you wish to purchase a Shared Ownership property, you will need to meet some of the following eligibility requirements:

  • You are 18 years old or older
  • Have an annual household income of less than £80,000 (if outside of London)
  • Have an annual household income of less than £90,000 (if living in London)
  • You are a first-time buyer
  • You cannot afford a home suitable for your housing needs in the open market
  • It is essential you prove you are not on a mortgage or in rent arrears
  • You can show that you have a healthy credit history with no bad debts, and can afford the regular mortgage payments

Additionally, you should be able to draw upon at least £4,000 to cover the costs involved with buying a home. This figure isn’t one set in stone and you will need to wait until you work out which Help to Buy scheme you are on.

How do I apply for a Shared Ownership scheme?

Get in touch with our experts on 020 3868 6262 and they’ll run you through the whole process from start to finish. Alternatively, Shared Ownership application information can be found on the UK government’s website here.

People currently living in a council or housing association home can apply for something called a Social HomeBuy. It is a scheme that allows you to purchase a portion of the home you already live in, with rent paid on the remainder of the home.

When it comes to purchasing the property, you will have to pay a minimum of 25% of your home. If this sounds too much, don’t forget that you’ll get a discount of between £9,000 and £16,000 on the value of the property. Of course, this depends on where you live and the proportion of the share you’re intending to buy. A great aspect of shared ownership is that you can choose to increase the size of your share in the property, whilst still getting the discount.

What property can I get with Shared Ownership?

Much like the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, Shared Ownership restricts the types of properties you can own. You can’t use Shared Ownership to purchase a share in any type of property. Instead, you can only apply for Shared Ownership on new-build properties and occasionally, homes re-sold by housing associations.

Most importantly, Shared Ownership homes are only ever leasehold, not freehold.

Is Shared Ownership applicable to first-time buyers only?

There is another Shared Ownership scheme run by the UK government called Older People’s Shared Ownership. It is designed for people over the age of 55 and works in much the same way as the general Shared Ownership scheme. You are only able to purchase 75% of your home, but the advantage is that you won’t have to pay rent on the remaining 25% of the property (unlike the general Shared Ownership scheme).

As well as older people, Shared Ownership applies to people with disabilities under the Home Ownership for People with Long-Term Disabilities (HOLD). It is only possible to apply for HOLD if the property you applied for through the general Shared Ownership scheme isn’t suitable to your needs (for example, if you require a ground-floor flat).

More on staircasing

If you’ve managed to complete the Shared Ownership process and have lived in your shared property for a certain period of time, you could buy greater shares in your property. The period of time depends on various factors. These include the terms of your lease (which will have also mentioned the minimum share you are allowed to purchase). The process of buying a larger portion of your Shared Ownership home is called ‘staircasing’ and it is the stepping stone towards owning your property outright, meaning no more rent paid to your housing association.

Acquiring additional shares in your property requires you to pay a price in proportion to the full open market value of your home. This means if the property is worth £175,000 and you wanted to buy an additional 20% share, you would pay £35,000. As for restrictions in buying more shares, generally speaking there are none but we would recommend that you refer to your lease the first time you try to purchase a share. When you do this, you may need your legal representative to provide assistance.

Can OneDome help me with Shared Ownership?

Whilst it’s best to go through the correct Shared Ownership channels, we are more than happy to offer considerate, impartial advice if required. If you’ve already applied for and been accepted for Shared Ownership, we can help you get a mortgage with our online tool, Mortgage Passport.


All you need to do is simply fill in a few details and you’ll get an accurate quote of what you can afford in minutes. As well as this, you can pre-qualify for a Mortgage in Principle and use your Mortgage Passport to show sellers that you’re in a genuine position to buy. Stand out from other buyers with OneDome’s Mortgage Passport. For reliable mortgage advice, speak to our advisors on 0203 8686 262 between 09:00 and 17:00. We look forward to hearing from you.

Key benefits of Mortgage Passport:

  • Compare 90+ mortgage lenders to make sure you get the best possible rate
  • Expert mortgage support available whenever you need it
  • Standing out from other buyers is easy with the Mortgage Passport
  • Find out how much you can borrow in just five minutes
  • Personalised offers designed to meet your unique requirements

The smart way to find a mortgage

If you’d prefer to talk to a our experts directly, you can call 0203 8686 262 between 09:00 and 17:00

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