Smart Share

June 17, 2010 01:00 ET

Shared Ownership Making First Time Buying a Reality

GUILDFORD, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 17, 2010) - In light of recent changes to the government and anticipated coalition cuts; the global economic climate and housing prices are steadily on the rise again, many first time buyers are justifiably concerned that they won't be able to get onto the property ladder. However, shared ownership could be the answer to their worries.

The scheme has been rejuvenated with its recent accessibility to a new range of home buyers. It is no longer an option merely for key workers, social tenants buying their first home or first time buyers, as the criteria has expanded even further. This means it is now a plausible option for those whose circumstances could mean they are divorced, single, co-sharing or have a family - with the added benefit of paying less for a shared ownership mortgage than a high street one.

A recent speech by the Minister for Housing, Grant Shapps, revealed that an estimated 1.4 million households aspire to own a home but are not in a position to do so. Therefore, it is clear that the aspiration prevails, so shared ownership could provide these people with the ability to fulfil their aims in spite of inflated house prices and increased deposits. Buying this way actually means reduced deposits as well as smaller mortgage payments.

The scheme is also advantageous for those looking to downsize their properties whether due to relationship reasons or financial re-evaluations. It can provide an excellent immediate and long term solution for couples or individuals, with a variety of properties available and the opportunity to increase the percentage bought as your income increases.

Since the coalition government came into power, regional housing targets have been removed and put in the hands of local authorities who understand the area's requirements. However, the government has been urged by housing associations up and down the country to maintain spending on shared ownership to ensure generations of the future continue to benefit from the scheme.

Gareth Robinson, CEO of the number one leading website dedicated to affordable housing, SmartShare, commented: 'Shared ownership opens up a wealth of properties including contemporary new builds, which are accessible to the first time home owner as well as a cross section of potential buyers. Our aim is to make it easier for people to find and buy those properties by offering the largest portfolio of affordable homes in the UK from all the housing associations and developers nationwide'.

Details of new incentives for housing promised by the new government have yet to be announced. However, the coalition has pledged its commitment to schemes such as shared ownership to facilitate first time buyers in achieving home ownership.

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