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The UK government has long been committed to helping its citizens own their home. It has developed many programs to make people's lifelong dream possible! One of the most recent developments is the Shared Ownership, which paved the way for many homeowners to jumpstart their home-owning journey.

This article would tell you more about the project and the latest updates made by the UK government.

What Is Shared Ownership?

If you are not familiar with the Shared Ownership scheme, it is specially made for people who cannot afford their mortgage. In this program, they have the chance to buy a share of the home they want to own. The amount can range from 25% to 75% of the home's total value, whichever they can afford. Then, they can pay up the remainder as a rental fee!

Anyone who wants to own a home can participate in this program! Whether you are a first-time home buyer, a person who used to be a homeowner but cannot afford to buy a new one, or an existing shared owner, you are eligible to purchase a home through the Shared Ownership program.

What Is New With Shared Ownership (2021 to 2026)

Although the program has been a helpful initiative, the UK government has seen many more opportunities to improve and make it more beneficial for aspiring homeowners. That is why starting this year until 2026, they would release even more budget to invest and make the program even better. The project would cost £12.2 billion—which is the biggest single funding project ever made as of writing to provide affordable housing in the UK!

Its goal is to deliver an estimate of 180,000 homes to individuals and families within the UK. According to the government, they plan to designate 50% of these homes to the Affordable Housing Programme while the other half would be new models for the Shared Ownership program. Both aim to provide housing options to residents all over the country.

The Shared Ownership Reforms to Look Forward To

If you are wondering how the upgraded program would be different from the original, here are some highlights that you should know:

  • The program was originally designed for people to pay 25% to 75% of their house's total value. The government now lowered it down to 10% so that more people can afford it.

  • In the initial program, only people who have the means can buy bigger shares of their home. With the update, people can now purchase additional shares, starting at 1% instalments and with reduced fees. In connection with this, the landlords would also be prohibited from charging administration fees for each share bought.

  • The government would also introduce a ten-year period wherein the shared owner will get financial support from the landlord if there are essential repairs necessary for their house.

  • The government would also begin providing the shared owners more control when they decide to sell their home.

These were products of the conference and consultation responses during the 2019 “Making Home Ownership Affordable” discussion paper and shall be applied to all new houses built this year until 2026.

Other Important Details to Note About the Project

  • The Homes England would also be following the new and improved Shared Ownership model for their new model lease starting this year too.

  • The other special programs implemented by the UK government, such as the Older Persons Shared Ownership and other rural restrictions, would still be observed alongside the improved program.

  • The government also introduces the Right to Shared Ownership which allows social tenants to purchase a stake in their home following the rules of the new model for Shared Ownership. These will also be applied to all rented homes funded by the Affordable Homes Programme 2021 to 2026. Limited exemptions are enumerated on their website.

What Home Providers Should Know

  • Due to the government's changes to the newest batch of Shared Ownership, homeowners should expect the additional cost to the funding application.

  • The home providers should still encourage aspiring homeowners to purchase the maximum share they can afford with the money they have now. Since the initial point of purchase was downgraded to 10%, the deposit they need to pay up also decreased. If they maximise this opportunity and add that to the rent they need to pay off, the result would be a much lower mortgage cost!

  • The providers are also encouraged to sell their sales flexibly to sustain the value of their money.

  • Homes England would continue to review the ongoing implementation of the new model, particularly the affordability and sustainability guidance, to ensure that all parties would benefit from the model.

  • The government would keep an eye on lenders as they are aware that the changes might encourage people to opt for alternative or unsecured lenders.

The Benefits of the New Model to Shared Owners

With the new rules currently in place, the shared owners can enjoy the following advantages:

  • They can own a home and have full ownership by only starting at 10%.

  • Shared owners can also freely have the option to buy 1% of shares every year, with a considerable reduction. There is also an established way to get the valuation of that 1%! It would depend on the estimated valuation linked to the original purchase price. The value would be adjusted every year depending on the local House Price Inflation. That means there is no need for the shared owners to get an RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor) to conduct a new valuation each time they decide to buy a share.

Information Shared Owners Should Know About the One Per Cent Share Purchase

Should you be interested in taking advantage of the 1% share purchase, here are some facts you should know:

  • The home providers would need to have their original RICS valuation before purchasing an additional share. It would serve as their baseline valuation for their first purchase.

  • For the subsequent purchases, the landlord would use the latest released data by the House Price Index and the property type released by the Land Registry as references.

  • Every time a purchase would occur, the landlord would be required to present the updated copy of this valuation to the shared owners. They should also demonstrate how they computed their estimated valuation.

  • Every estimated valuation would only be valid for three months. Once the timing passes, the landlord would need to provide an updated computation using the most recent data available.

  • If the shared owner is not happy about the valuation result, they can opt to ask for an RICS valuation. Any of the two can be used as a reference for the purchase.

Conclusion

Owning a home has always been a dream of the majority of people all over the world. These efforts by the UK government are slowly making people's dreams come true! If you plan to purchase a home anytime soon, consider looking into the Shared Ownership program or the Affordable Housing Programme, and you might find the right one for you.

Once you are ready to settle and need some conveyancing quotes in London, we can help you out! Conveyancing Calculator provides you with trusted and accurate computations that you can use when buying a house, selling a house, moving homes, and more. All our prices are direct from UK-regulated SRA property solicitors or CLC-licensed conveyancers. Contact us to learn more!

 

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