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London Home Show Guest Blog: Sharing is caring

Tuesday 14th March 2017

Today's guest blog is from Tim Seward Head of Property Sales at London Home Show Spring 2017 at Latimer:

First-time buyers struggling to raise enough cash for a deposit to buy a home of their own are increasingly turning to alternative ways of achieving the dream of home ownership.

Tim Seward Latimer Although shared ownership is by no means a new initiative – in fact it has been around since the early 1980s - it’s becoming more mainstream and an accepted part of the UK housing market. A recent report showed that the number of shared ownership purchases has risen by more than 130 per cent in six years.

At the same time, housing associations have ramped up the number of new homes being built for part-buy, part-rent. Statistics from the National Housing Group recently showed that this year the supply is expected to increase fourfold - 25,000 homes are likely to come to market compared to 6,911 in 2016.

Shared ownership is traditionally aimed at people on lower incomes who aspire to home ownership, but can’t afford to buy outright and need some help to bridge the affordability gap.

Usually it’s a government-funded initiative run by housing associations which means its regulated and the quality is normally on par with private developments – in many cases shared ownership schemes are actually part of a private development, the only difference being you normally buy between 25% and 75% to start with and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder.

Buyers normally have the option to buy the rest either in one go or in further shares (called staircasing) until you own 100%. So basically it’s simply a way of enabling you to buy in stages if you can’t afford the full price of a home in one go.

We are seeing more and more lenders supporting shared ownership and the choice of homes and lending products continues to grow, which can only be good news for aspiring homeowners. But apart from lowering upfront costs what are the other benefits of shared ownership and buying through a housing association?

Like any company operating in a commercial environment, housing associations aspire to build an excellent and desirable product that will sell, but they tend to do so with a social conscience.

Housing groups don’t have shareholders and tend to be non-profit making, so the funds they generate through shared ownership or private sale are often re-invested back into building more homes or providing services for the most vulnerable.

Housing associations are also in it for the long-term. While most developers generally move on as soon as the homes are sold and appoint a third party managing agent, housing associations will continue to manage homes after the purchase. In fact, housing associations often have their own dedicated aftercare team who are on hand to deal with any teething issues.

To find out more about shared ownership and Latimer’s latest developments visit: www.latimerhomes.com Our sales team will be exhibiting at this year’s London Home Show. Come and meet us on stand No 1. You can register for the London Home Show Spring 2017 here.

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