Jargon Busting: Staircasing

Staircasing explained in 30 seconds

Can I buy more shares in my Shared Ownership home?

As part of our Jargon Busting in 30 seconds or less series, we’ve taken a look at the process of buying additional shares in your Shared Ownership home, also known as ‘staircasing’.

What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership, also known as part-buy part-rent, allows buyers to purchase a share of a leasehold home, paying a mortgage on the share they own and rent on the remainder to a housing association. The scheme is great for those who are looking to buy but can’t quite afford to purchase a home on the open market.

With Shared Ownership, the purchaser only needs to get a mortgage for the share they own (not the full amount of the property) meaning that the amount of money required for a deposit is usually much lower compared to purchasing outright.

What is staircasing?

As and when your financial circumstances change, you can choose to buy more shares in your Shared Ownership home through a process known as ‘staircasing’; this is completely optional and you do not have to buy more shares if you don’t want to. As you purchase more shares in your home, your mortgage payments will increase and your rent will decrease.

If you decide to staircase to 100%, you become the outright owner of your property and no longer pay any rent, just your mortgage and any service charges. At this stage, if you wish to sell, you’re no longer required to give your housing association the opportunity to market the property first.

Where can I learn more about staircasing?

As a specialist property portal and independent, educational resource for first time buyers, Share to Buy aims to help potential purchasers access all the information they need about alternative housing options such as Shared Ownership, as well as learn about their next steps once they become owner-occupiers.

For more information on Shared Ownership and Staircasing, check out our other pages below:

Share to Buy is a one stop shop for affordable homes. On our website, you can search for propertiescompare mortgages, and find out all you need to know about alternative home-buying schemes using our FAQs and guides.

If you’re interested in purchasing a part-buy part-rent home, you can find out more via our article index and Shared Ownership terms and conditions on Share to Buy.