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Ways to buy

Details of ways we can help you buy your first or next home

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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 looking again.

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.


Income increase

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.

House size

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.

Service personnel


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 police

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 priority.



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