Northern Ireland has seen its condominium property value limit rise to £190,000 as part of a decision by the Department for Communities.
The property value limit is the cap on the value of a property that can be purchased as a condominium and applies to condominium, rent-to-own and condominium for over 55s. The previous property’s value limit was £175,000.
Currently, £158million in funding has been approved for the Co-Ownership Housing Association to help more than 4,000 households gain access to homeownership by 2024, according to the department.
The association has been in operation since 1978, is regulated by the ministry, and is its primary delivery partner for affordable condominiums in the area.
Its rent-to-own product allows homeowners to choose a new build home in Northern Ireland up to the property value limit. The association will buy the property and lease it to the owners for up to three years, with the owner able to buy it any time after the first year is over.
The department says £8m of additional funding has been provided to support the Over 55 Condominium Scheme, which opened applications in June. This product is based on a split ownership model and is for people who want to move to a more suitable home that meets their needs as they age, but cannot afford to do so on their own- same.
The body says 93% of condominium purchases in 2021/22 were made by first-time buyers, adding that 46% of those buyers came from the private rental sector.
The average house price in Northern Ireland was £169,063 in the second quarter of this year, an increase of 9.6% on the same period in 2021, according to the latest Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: “I want to make sure that individuals and families have access to affordable, good quality housing. Co-ownership can be an alternative to the private rental sector. It is important that the co-ownership option be open to as many people as possible. »
Condominium Managing Director Mark Graham adds: “This new property value limit remains above the average house price in Northern Ireland, so we are confident that this change will have a positive impact on incoming applicants.
“We have helped over 30,000 people to date and year after year we are responsible for approximately 10% of the FTB market, indicating the continued need for alternative routes to home ownership.”
NAEA Propertymark Chairman Stephen McCarron said: “As housing prices and rents have increased significantly in recent months, we are pleased to see this reflected in the value of condo program loans.
“By introducing this change at a time when some are feeling the pinch of the cost of living crisis and rising interest rates, the Northern Ireland Executive will be able to continue to encourage those seeking to access the housing scale to do so.”