Looking to buy a home in 2023? Here’s how first-time buyers can get onto the property ladder with a low deposit through Shared Ownership
It’s no secret that buying a first home has seemed a challenging prospect for many buyers over the last few months – with a mix of spiking mortgage rates, the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, and the end of the government’s Help to Buy scheme leaving many feeling home ownership is out of their reach.
This is especially true in London, which has long been one of the most expensive places to buy in the UK.
But buying a home doesn’t have to be a distant dream, and Shared Ownership could be the answer.
The scheme enables first-time buyers to purchase a share of a property, starting from 25 per cent, and pay rent to a housing association like Notting Hill Genesis on the remaining part. By buying a share, the deposit amount required is far lower than if buying a whole property on the open market – sometimes this can be as low as four figures.
Shared Ownership is perfectly suited to buyers of all ages – including young people who are looking to put down roots but may lack the financial means to purchase a home outright, and buyers stuck in the renting cycle yet to save a large enough deposit. Find out more about who’s eligible for the scheme here.
As well as the lower deposit required, Shared Ownership has many benefits that make it a great route for first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder. One of the highlights is that, compared with renting, every mortgage payment you make takes you one step closer to fully owning your own home. Buyers can also ‘staircase’ the proportion of the home they own up to 100 per cent.
What’s more, the amount you pay per month – combining both mortgage and rent – is often cheaper than if paying a mortgage on a property on the open market, or if you were renting privately, although this depends on the size of the share you’re purchasing.
What does this mean in real terms?
If you wanted to privately rent a two-bedroom flat in Woolwich, you may be looking at a monthly cost of £2,300.
The amount paid through Shared Ownership (based on a 25 per cent share of a two-bedroom home at our Woolwich Reach development) is £1,675.35.
This equates to a saving of £624.65 per month.
From north to south and east to west London, a huge range of Shared Ownership homes are available to purchase with Notting Hill Genesis. All are located in vibrant pockets of the city, including waterside, parkside and city-centre locations, and with convenient transport links throughout the capital. Why not take a look at our award-winning development Royal Albert Wharf at the Royal Docks, or our homes at Woolwich Reach? This year we’ll also be launching some exciting new homes including in North Acton and Colindale. Find out more about our developments here.
Let’s also look at one of the key reasons people want to buy a home – to decorate it and make it their own. With Shared Ownership, buyers have the luxury of taking paint to walls, hanging pictures, owning pets, and choosing their own furniture – truly putting their own stamp on a home.
Buyers will also reap the rewards of buying new. Not only are the homes filled with the newest technology and appliances, they are far lower maintenance and more energy-efficient than older homes. Notting Hill Genesis’ apartments have high EPC ratings – something that is increasingly important to consider as energy prices continue to rise and fuel bills become more expensive.
Manuel Molero, 43, made a home with us at Dockside at Millharbour, located on the Isle of Dogs.
He bought his apartment through Shared Ownership for £123,750 with a deposit amount of £6,187 for a 25 per cent share.
As a first-time buyer, he wanted to put down roots somewhere that offered views of London, a space he could make his own, and transport links throughout the capital and beyond.
Manuel also wanted to find a home with a luxurious feel, and he was attracted to Dockside because of the high-quality features and amenities.
“I’m very houseproud. I love interior design, so I wanted this to be my little nest. When I saw this I thought it was an incredible offer, with all the built-in conveniences like comfort cooling and underfloor heating, and Smeg appliances. It’s affordable luxury. Buying with Notting Hill Genesis is the best thing I’ve done in London in the past 21 years.”.
Read more about Manuel here.
Some may think buying through Shared Ownership means you never truly own your home. But as with every option when purchasing a home, one size does not fit all, and for the large number of buyers who may not have access to the deposit needed to buy on the open market, the scheme can be a lifeline.
Buying with a housing association also adds an element of security to your situation as the remaining share of the house is owned by us, rather than a landlord or other individuals.
Plus, if you do ever decide the scheme is no longer for you, you have a trusted body through which to sell. While many buyers will look to ‘staircase’ and increase the share of the home they own, some may wish to buy a larger home and want to sell their property. This is easily done.
It may not be the traditional way of becoming a home owner, but the housing market isn’t as accessible as it once was, so why not try something you hadn’t considered?
All in all, Shared Ownership is a scheme that offers buyers a route to home ownership, something many are looking for in these challenging times. We all crave somewhere that we can call home and make our own, and this may just be the perfect way to do it.