For the rest of England, first time buyers need to raise around £50,000 (or £48,591 to be precise) – according to the English Housing Survey (EHS) released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government last month.

It all sounds impossible. And it very nearly is. Only seven percent from 671,000 first time buyers in the EHS during 2016 to 2017 managed to buy a house using their own funds – 35 per cent had financial help from family and friends and 10 per cent used cash left over from an inheritance. 

It’s not surprising first time buyers are finding it difficult to save up for an expensive deposit when the average rental, especially in London, eats up around one third of their salary. Add to that rising inflation – which is higher than wage rises – and you can see where they’re coming from. But all is not lost…

Government-backed financial life-line for first time buyers

Apart from house prices plummeting massively – which isn’t going to happen any time soon; if ever, there is another way first time buyers can get their foot on the housing ladder. And it’s one that comes with fewer financial worries too, not to mention the fact it’s far more flexible than traditional means.

It’s called Shared Ownership. And it makes buying a home far more accessible for millions of UK residents. You can find details of shared ownership developments, together with details of how it all works, at the UK’s first online portal for shared ownership schemes; Property Booking.

In a nutshell, Shared Ownership offers first time buyers the opportunity to part-buy and part-rent a brand new home. Instead of having to pay a 90 per cent mortgage they can get a mortgage for what they can afford – anything between 25 per cent to 75 per cent of the property’s value – and pay a low, subsidised rent on the remainder. It means they also have far more control over how much of a deposit they have to save for.

For the many thousands of tenants forced to rent their home it could be the opportunity they’ve been waiting for – to be the king (or queen) of their own castle at last. And to get the chance to decorate the way they want and to finally be able to say ‘yes’ to that cat or dog they’ve been yearning for since leaving college.

A modern means of accessing a mortgage

In other words, Shared Ownership is a much more affordable means of buying a new home – one that’s far more relevant to today’s housing market and the current UK economy. For, provided they have an annual income of at least £20,000 and no more than £90,000 (£80,000 in the rest of England), potential buyers can buy as an individual, couple or friends. There are other criteria, but these are the main ones for most buyers. 

Not only does Shared Ownership give buyers the pride that comes with having their own property, but it is also an added incentive for them to save knowing the home will one day be theirs outright.

Buying a shared ownership home

And the exciting news is that the properties aren’t ex-social housing flats which have been around since post WW2. But rather they’re mostly brand new-build developments, with mod-cons and that all-new fresh feeling. Examples currently on the market include the 29 new one and two bedroom apartments for sale in Harrow from Origin Housing. 

Then there is the exciting new development at Ebbsfleet Garden City with stunning new homes available from Moat Homes. These one and two bedroom apartments in an idyllic countryside setting are a mere 19 minutes train journey from St Pancras Station so perfect for city commuters who appreciate a bit of greenery on their downtime.

You can keep abreast of all new shared ownership properties coming on the market at Property Booking as well as checking individual developer sites.