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Shared ownership is a viable option for renters aiming to get onto housing ladder

With the number of renters across the UK more than doubling since 2001, there has been a sharp rise in the volume of people who fear that they will never be able to afford to buy a home. 

The latest research by Halifax and YouGov found that two in five renters cannot see how they will ever be in a position to buy a property, despite a desire to own a place of their own.

It was also revealed that around three in ten private renters in the UK think it is now normal for people to rent for life.


Buy new analysis by Leeds Building Society has found that private tenants would be financially better off using shared ownership to acquire a share of a property rather than renting, while crucially this would also help people gain a foot on the housing ladder. 

London renters, in particular, could reap the benefits of shared ownership, according to the research. 

Leeds Building Society found purchasing a 25% share of a £600,000 one-bedroom flat in Islington, for example, with a £7,500 deposit, could save borrowers as much as £41,004 over a two year period, compared with the cost of renting a comparable property on the open rental market, which would typically cost about £3,900 per calendar month. 


Shared Ownership (25% share)

Rental costs



£4,500 (refundable)


£736 per month



£1,031 per month

£3,900 per month

Service charge

£112 per month



£1,879 per month

£3,900 per month

2yr total



They also have the option to increase the share of the property they own over time – known as staircasing – so could invest the money saved to buy a greater share of their home.

Matt Bartle, director of products at Leeds Building Society, commented: “Shared Ownership celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and remains a cornerstone of affordable housing in the UK. The scheme has enabled thousands of people to step onto the property ladder and remains a viable option, particularly for first time buyers.

“Time and again, the challenge of saving up for a deposit is named as the biggest obstacle facing anyone wanting to buy their first home. However, our 95% borrower share mortgages require a deposit of 5% of the share borrowers are purchasing, rather than of the entire value of the property, significantly reducing the size of deposit required.

“Recent changes to the scheme have made it more accessible than ever, with the only key restriction that borrowers must have a household income of less than £80k (£90k in London). A consultation on changes to Shared Ownership, including measures to make staircasing easier for buyers, has also recently been completed.

“For many, Shared Ownership makes financial sense as it immediately reduces the size of a deposit, purchasers own a share of their home and can build up equity if they wish, while the monthly cost can be cheaper than an equivalent privately rented home.”

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    The example given in this article isn't particularly helpful or representative of most renters circumstances.
    The average UK house price is around £230k, not £600k, and the average UK rent is around £900-£1000 outside of London, even in London average rent is closer to £1700 a month.
    The average renter isn't paying £3900 a month and if they are it's more likely to be because it suits them n rather than out of necessity.

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    From what I have heard from people that have bought shared ownership they are nearly impossible to sell on.


    in fact as soon as you purchase--price drops

    plus 100% of gr and sc and rent

    its a misselling scandal

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    • 13 November 2019 10:54 AM

    It is ridiculous for anyone to consider that London is representative of the UK as a whole.......................it ISN'T!
    Those who desire to live in London must surely be aware of the horrendous costs of doing so.
    Nobody NEEDS to live in London.
    It is a conscious choice to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
    People WANT to live in London to enjoy all the dubious delights of it.
    They have to pay the price.
    Normal people with normal lives can't afford plus don't want to live in London.
    Property ownership is beyond those with normal wages..
    Shared ownership is just a smokescreen for ownership.
    Far better to purchase outside London and take in lodgers and rent a property in London or commute.
    It is perfectly possible to be a homeowner and tenant at the same time.
    Such a tenant/homeowner may visit their PPR once per week to collect any mail and deal with any issues at their HOME.
    The lodger rents would go a long way to paying for some of the rent that the tenant) homeowner will be paying.
    So the best of both worlds.
    Unless wages rise substantially .........which they won't then only the rich will be able to afford to buy in London.
    All it means is that wealth is required not just to live in Central London but now more general parts.
    For example a 2 bed terrace house in Walthamstow now costs about £410000.
    It takes about 35 mins Tube journey to reach Central London.
    The same house can be had in Southend for about £260000 within 10 mins walk of Southend stns.
    It takes about 45 mins by train to reach Central London..
    Those who wish to live in Walthamstow make a choice to live in an expensive area when for an extra 15 mins train journey they could save themselves at least £150000 on property purchase cost.
    It is all about CHOICE.
    We really require that public policy is NOT determined by the very parochial interests of the London bubble.
    Anything to do with London should really be removed from ONS figures to give a true indication as to what is occurring in the UK.
    Living in London has always been for the rich even more so now.
    Only the rich and feckless welfare scroungers can afford to live in London.

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    Barry James how right you are what Planet are they on, we live in London and know the market better than to be taken-in with this blatant nonsense. A one bed Flat is between £900. to £1100, pm. generally of Course you can look for exceptions. I even have a 2 bed Flat let in Ealing with garden for £1’200. pm. (no Service charge) You are not going to get £3’900. for a five bedroom house ever so what nonsense is this. Shared Ownership is a disaster I know people who had those and all regretted it very much, hard to sell on and a load of Conditions, Keep well clear not a good idea.

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    about 100000 shared ownership not sold

    boris's mob are pushing for 10% share--madness

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    I see a whole development done some years ago with Shared Ownership in London many 50% share. There were so many Flats packed in, the Developer had their full money back immediately, still owned more than half, still in control and Rental income from all of them, great idea for Developer not the buyer.


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