More opportunities to get on the housing ladder
If you've ever applied to buy a shared ownership
property and been told that you earn too much - it might be worth
Shared ownership is an affordable way to get on the housing
ladder for those who may not be able to afford to buy a home
out-right, and the news for those looking to move into a new home
has just got better.
New rules came into effect in January 2016 when the government
made it possible for people (outside London) with an annual income
of up to £80,000 to apply to buy a shared ownership home. The
previous maximum threshold for annual household income was £60,000
so this £20,000 increase will offer many more people the
opportunity of owning their own home.
Until January 2016, there was also a restriction on the size of
the home that you could buy depending on the size of your family.
You were only allowed to buy a property with one more bedroom that
your need. So, if you were single or a couple with no children, you
could only apply for a one or two bedroom home; if you had one
child that would increase to three bedrooms and so on.
This restriction has now been lifted. This means that, as long
as you can afford it, you're free to buy any size home you wish
meaning that you can put down roots in a home in which you and your
family can grow.
Another change that could help more people onto the housing
ladder is that there is now only one group of people who will be
prioritised for the shared ownership scheme.
Current and previous members of the British Armed Forces
including clinical staff - but not doctors and dentists - MOD
Current Ministry of Defence (MOD) personnel who have completed
their basic training (phase 1) along with those who served at least
six years in the forces before leaving will be prioritised. All
ex-service personnel must apply to buy within two years of leaving
the forces and they must have been honourably discharged to be
eligible. Surviving partners of service personnel who have died
serving their country will also be given priority when they apply
within two years of being bereaved. officers or uniformed
staff in the defence fire service are the only ones who now get
Number of applications
Before the changes came into force, once you had used the scheme
to buy a home, you were not able to move to another shared
ownership property. This has now changed so if your family has
grown since buying your home and are looking to move to a larger
property but still can't afford to buy out-right, you are now
allowed to use the scheme again - as long as you have a sale agreed
on your current home.
These changes make shared ownership an attractive option
for many more people who are struggling to afford to buy a home of
their own so if you've applied before or are new to the house
buying scene, why not give shared ownership a try.
To find out more about shared ownership and how the Help to Buy
scheme could help you, take a look at this story or
call 0800 085 2491.
For the full announcement of the changes that came into force on
4 January 2016 please take a look at this on the government website.
19 January 2016