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Low cost home ownership schemes

Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership is for people who cannot afford a mortgage on 100% of a property. It's also called a part-buy/part-rent scheme.

How it works

Shared Ownership allows you to buy a share of a property. You pay a mortgage on the share you own, and a below-market-value rent on the part you do not own.

Because you only need a mortgage on the part you own, the amount you need to put down as a deposit is much lower.

The combined mortgage and rent payment is usually lower than a 100% mortgage payment would be.


Once you are a shared owner, you can increase the share you own in stages. This is called staircasing.

Usually, you would buy an extra 10% share at a time. The shares you can buy will depend on the terms and conditions.

New build or resale property

Once you've decided to buy through Shared Ownership, you need to choose whether to buy:

  • a new build
  • a resale.

New build

Under this scheme, you usually initially buy between 25% and 75% of a newly built home from the provider. The provider is usually a housing association.

This scheme is especially appealing to individuals who cannot:

  • raise a large enough deposit to get a mortgage approved
  • get a large enough mortgage to buy a property outright, even with a ‘healthy’ deposit.


Resales are shared ownership homes that are sold when the current shared owners want to sell their stake in the property. This is usually because they want to buy a property outright.

Every resale is unique in:

  • the share you can buy
  • the rent to pay.

This is because of:

  • the share the current owner bought
  • staircasing, where the owner has bought more shares.

You can find resales on housing association websites and on the Help to Buy South website.

Some housing associations also use external agencies to advertise resale properties. You may receive information on resales from them.


If you only want to apply for shared ownership, you should download and complete the shared ownership application form.

You also need to register with Help to Buy Agent 3, Agent for the South.