Siobhan Holbrook, Director at Mortgage Light
You might have heard the recent news that the shared ownership model is changing. Previously, buyers of shared ownership homes had to purchase a share of at least 25% but now, they can purchase a share of just 10% – making shared ownership even more affordable to more buyers. In addition, buyers can now increase their share by 1% at a time, making ‘staircasing’ easier for many.
At Mortgage Light, we specialise in shared ownership mortgages and it is excellent to see attention and investment being channelled into the scheme; it’s a brilliant way to help people on to the ladder who would otherwise be priced out of the open market.
However, while the option to staircase by just 1% allows greater flexibility for people to increase their shares, the truth is that the accompanying fees could still be too expensive – that’s why the announcement that these fees will be heavily reduced is a welcome one; we hope it enables more shared ownership buyers to buy more shares in their home. It is also crucial that the new minimum share of 10% is a viable option for housing associations, if it is to get any traction.
We’re big supporters of the shared ownership model and believe it will provide one of the most popular, affordable ways to buy a home over the next year, following the slowdown of Help to Buy, the end of the stamp duty holiday and in the economic aftermath of the pandemic. Reducing the minimum initial share is a great first step, but we’d like to see proposals enhanced even further to ensure they really work for homebuyers.
We work with our homebuyers to make sure they know exactly what their options are; more often than we’d like, people don’t actually know how shared ownership could work for them and that they could secure a home with just a five per cent deposit, or in some cases no deposit at all! That’s why we like to engage with buyers before they’ve even found their property, where we can. This means we can support during the search and help our customers find a home that truly fits their circumstances.
To find out more about shared ownership and how Mortgage Light can help you onto the property ladder using the scheme, contact the team on 01908 597655.