Affordability remains the main disadvantage for people wishing to buy a home, which is why government programs such as Home Buyer’s Assistance have proven to be popular.
Buying aid is due to close in 2023 and there are private companies looking to fill the void, but another way to get a foot on the housing ladder is through shared ownership. This year we have seen an increase in inquiries and sales of this partial buy / lease tenure and I expect this to continue.
Most condominium units are built and managed by housing associations and although there are is still only a small part of the housing market, it has growth potential. Housing associations are an important part of the new construction industry and are now responsible for building a quarter of new homes in England, including almost all new social and affordable housing.
Rise in shared ownership
Shared ownership was described as the “fourth term” in a House of Commons briefing paper released in November 2020. It stated that there were around 157,000 households in England living in condominiums, which represents less than 1% of all households – but the ” fourth term ” has increased in recent years.
In 2015/16, 4,080 units were built, but three years later they have more than quadrupled to reach 17,020 in 2018/19, representing 34% of new affordable housing supply, up from 23% in 2015/16 .
In the future, I believe that shared ownership will become more and more popular because it is a more affordable way for people to get a foot on the housing ladder.
Shared ownership used to be known to be for low-income people, but this is no longer the case. Many professionals and families take this route to home ownership as the cost of housing, especially in the south of England, is very high.
The latest ONS data shows the average UK house price to be £ 256,000 in July 2021, so a 10% deposit would be £ 25,600. In order to get a better mortgage rate, a 25% deposit would require £ 64,000, which is beyond the reach of most first-time buyers. With shared ownership, buyers can buy a property with just a 5% down payment, so in the above case it would cost £ 12,800.
Build more condominium units
More condominium properties are going to be built under the government affordable housing program for 2021-2026. This will see the new construction sector receive an injection of £ 8.6 billion to deliver around 119,000 affordable homes, of which 57,000 are for homeownership, the majority of which are condominiums.
Shared ownership is a lending niche, but more and more lenders are considering it, which will not only be good for the industry but will become necessary as this tenure expands.
Because it is a niche, condominium requires expert advice to make sure buyers understand what they are doing and what their options are, such as the stairs. Not everyone will be eligible for shared ownership, so at Just Mortgages we find out at an early stage through our initial qualification process.
As new construction mortgage brokers, we work closely with many housing associations, as well as developers, and really understand the nuances involved. This means that we can manage our clients’ expectations and keep them informed of progress every step of the way.
John Doughty is Director of Financial Services at Just mortgages’ NOTuh Bbuilding Dvision