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Shared ownership explained: how the home buying scheme works

Shared ownership “isn’t limited to first-time buyers”, said MoneySavingExpert. The scheme is also open to previous homeowners who are struggling to get back on the property ladder, as well as existing shared owners.

However, the rules in England and for the devolved schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can differ. 

Shared ownership in England 

Shared ownership projects are always leasehold properties. 

You can purchase a home through shared ownership if: 

  • your household earns £80,000 a year or less (£90,000 a year or less in London) 
  • you cannot afford all of the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that meets your needs

One of the following must also be true: 

  • you’re a first-time buyer 
  • you used to own a home, but cannot afford to buy one now 
  • you own a home and want to move but cannot afford a new home suitable for your needs
  • you’re forming a new household – for example, after a relationship breakdown you’re an existing shared owner and want to move
Co-ownership in Northern Ireland 

You can buy a share of between 50% and 90% of a property. However, there is a property price cap of £165,000. You can increase your share at any time in 5% amounts – this is known as “buying out”, the NIDirect website said.

Shared ownership in Scotland

Aimed at first-time buyers and other priority groups, in Scotland you can buy a 25%, 50% or 75% share of a home. The remaining share is owned by a housing association. There is also an occupancy charge to pay to the housing association.

Shared ownership in Wales

In Wales, you can purchase an initial share of between 25% to 75% of the value of the chosen property. You must also take out a repayment mortgage for the share of the home purchased. The share can be increased at any time. 

To be eligible for shared ownership in Wales, you must have a combined household income of £60,000 or less each year. You must also be a first-time buyer, or a newly forming household, or be relocating for work purposes.

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