Changes To Help To Buy & Shared Ownership

Terraced Houses
Posted on September 6, 2019 Categories: Buying a House, Finance, First Time Buyers

What is Help To Buy & Shared Ownership?

Help to Buy & Shared Ownership are both government schemes that were introduced to assist buyers in getting a step onto the property ladder.

Help to Buy achieves this by offering discounted loans for new builds, whereas Share Ownership utilizes a system known as ‘staircasing’, allowing purchasers to gradually increase their ownership of a property through buying shares.

What reforms are being made to the scheme?

On the 28 August 2019, several significant changes to both the Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes were announced. As it currently stands, individuals who are living in Shared Ownership property are only permitted to increase their freehold by a portion of 10% at any one time.

However, under the new rules announced last week by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, the minimum percentage will be lowered significantly. Allowing people to purchase stakes in their property by increments as low 1%. A change that directly addresses many historical critiques of the scheme being too expensive for those operating on lower incomes.

What’s more, it was also confirmed that the changes to Help to Buy would confront a discrepancy in the mortgage arrangements that made it difficult for buyers to take loans out over a longer period. More specifically, by increasing the maximum loan period from 25 years to 35 years, prospective purchasers are now able to spread their costs out over a longer period, making it easier for individuals to get that initial step on the property ladder.

What has prompted this change?

According to Robert Jenrick, the objective of these alterations is primarily to “increase the number of homes that are being delivered and to get more young people and families onto the housing ladder, particularly those on lower incomes.”

These Help To Buy & Shared Ownership announcements have also coincided with promises for additional reforms to be made to the planning system, aiding the development of new property in unaffordable areas. This change is intended to make the potential of discounted housing for young people a much more realistic prospect. Jenrick claims that he “will be looking at ensuring young people from Cornwall to Cumbira aren’t priced out of their home areas and how we can build public support for more house building and better planning”.

How will this affect buyers?

Collectively, these reforms are highly beneficial to any young homebuyer who is struggling to get an initial step on the property ladder. Thanks to the freedom afforded by both the extended mortgages and reduced ‘staircasing’ costs, prospective purchasers will likely find that their regular payments are much more affordable. In addition, by reducing monthly mortgage installments, these changes will also be highly beneficial to anyone on a low income, who is struggling to save for a deposit.

Contact us

If you own a Shared Ownership property and require a valuation for ‘staircasing’ purposes, our friendly sales team can provide expert advice and guidance. If you’d like to get in touch and discuss your options, you can reach us by telephone on 01249 44465 or email via

Related Posts

© 2021 White Horse Surveyors

Designed and Hosted by