Government publishes consultation on new model for shared ownership

25/09/2019

The government has published, and is seeking views on, their consultation on a new national model for shared ownership of property - see: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/new-national-model-for-shared-ownership.  

This is definitely an area worth looking at as even though 220,000 new homes were supplied in the 2017/18 year (on government figures), still only 27% of people aged under 35 own their own home today as compared with 65% in the 1990s.

The stated aim being to make it easier for the owners of shared ownership properties to deal with their share of the property. Whether that be by increasing their share of equity, selling their home or raising a mortgage. Currently the rules, processes and difference in approach from the various lenders and landlords result in an overly complex area of home ownership.

The government proposes a new model that introduces "a single preferred model that all providers, including for-profit providers, can confidently adopt, thus growing the shared ownership market and enabling lenders to provide more competitive mortgage finance".

In particular, the government proposes to allow "staircasing" (which is the process by which owners increase the share of their equity over time) will be widened so that owners can increase their equity in as little as 1% increments, rather than the current 10% increments. The problem being that, with recent house price growth, being able to save enough to afford to purchase a further 10% is often cost-prohibitive. As the same time the fees involved in each increment can be high and the consultation states an aim to simplify the process so that those fees reduce.

It will be interesting to see how the industry responds in general and, in longer term, what actual changes are brought about and whether they have the desired effect promptly enough to achieve meaningful change.

The consultation closes on 29 September 2019.

Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate and correct, the information provided does not constitute any form of advice. Please note: this article only applies to England and Wales as property in Scotland and Northern Ireland is subject to different rules.