Changes with Help To Buy: Can Shared Ownership Mortgages help you get onto the property ladder?

It’s no surprise that first-time buyers are struggling to get on the first rung of the housing ladder. Even with help from lenders and the government, the rising cost of living, and the increasing pressure from other factors like Brexit uncertainty are deepening the problems for home buyers.

We deal with the whole of market and we believe there’s always a way, no matter what your circumstances – but help from the government is always very welcome. A recent change to the Help to Buy: Shared Ownership Scheme – does go a long way to give help right where it’s needed.

Help to Buy, cuts in Stamp Duty, and the home-building programmes are already making a difference, but the news about updates to the shared ownership mortgage is a big plus for first time buyers.

What’s a shared ownership mortgage?

If you’re not familiar with a shared ownership mortgage, then let’s bring you up to speed…

A shared ownership mortgage is available for those who would otherwise struggle to get a mortgage due to lower earnings. The aim is to level the playing field a little by getting first time buyers on the ladder with some help from government funding.

Essentially, the government will buy the home with you, and you pay them rent on the part that they mortgage for you, and you pay them back as you earn more.

“Help to Buy: Shared Ownership offers you the chance to buy a share of your home (between 25% and 75% of the home’s value) and pay rent on the remaining share. Later on, you could buy bigger shares when you can afford to.” –  HM Government.

You can buy your home through the Help to Buy: Shared Ownership scheme if:

  • Your household earns £80,000 a year or less and is outside London, or your household earns £90,000 a year or less in London.
  • And you’re a first-time buyer, you used to own a home but can’t afford to buy one now, or you’re an existing shared owner looking to move.

The aim is to help you get going and then give you the option to buy back more of the home as you earn more.

What’s new for Help to Buy: Shared Ownership?

The biggest change is that they’re going to allow people to buy their home in 1% increments, rather than the current 10% at a time.

This makes a mortgage a far more attractive option to those who previously struggled to save large amounts of money, and instead opted for ongoing renting, instead.

Other changes are:

  • A reform to the planning system which will increase the housing delivery, making home ownership more affordable for first time buyers.
  • Increasing the number of homes sold at a discounted rate.
  • Giving Shared Ownership Mortgages the option of a 35-year term.

In his statement, Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick said; “Building the houses this country needs is a central priority of this government. We know that most people still want to own their own home, but for many the dream seems a remote one.”

Changing the scheme and removing the loophole that forced the Shared Ownership Mortgages to be capped at 25 years previously should clearly help first time buyers. By giving them a longer period to pay back their loan, they will decrease their monthly commitment to their mortgage, making owning a home a real option where it previously was a distant dream.


It is enough to solve the UK housing crisis?

Clearly, there’s a lot more to be done and the development of housing in the UK isn’t enough, despite the visible rise in building in areas across the UK. Affordable first-time houses are the focus here, but some people don’t feel this goes far enough.

Sarah Guershon, mortgage expert at Bankrate, commented on the news by saying:

“While it’s positive to see Mr Jenrick looking to make changes so early on in his tenure, there’s still a huge amount to be done to solve the UK housing crisis. We hope the steps he has taken will be just the start of big changes to the UK housing market, because nothing short of bold reform will solve this problem.”

It’s a step in the right direction though – we certainly agree with that.


Need help getting on the ladder?

Here at Gough Mortgage + Protection we don’t think being a first-time buyer should stop you having a choice, with many lenders only available through intermediaries such as us, we know that we have access to more products than you’ll find on Google.

Give us a call now and we’ll check the whole of market to find a mortgage to suit you and your circumstances.


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