Shared Ownership: the costs

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What are the costs of buying a Shared Ownership home?

When thinking about buying a Shared Ownership home, it is important to be aware of the costs involved in the purchase of the property and the monthly costs you will expected to pay once you have moved into your new home.


Buying a Shared Ownership home


When buying a Shared Ownership home, you will need to put down a deposit. This is the amount you pay toward the cost of the share you are buying at the time of purchase. The amount required for a deposit will vary from property to property, but the typical Shared Ownership deposit is 5% or 10% of the share you are purchasing.

For example, if you buying a 25% share of a home with a full value of £300,000, the value of your share will be £75,000. If a 5% deposit was required, you would need to put down a deposit of £3,750.


Solicitor Fees

You will require a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to carry out the necessary legal work. You will need to have instructed a solicitor before your mortgage application can be submitted, and it’s important to check with your solicitor that they are approved to work for your mortgage lender.  Solicitor’s fees will usually be based on a fixed cost basis.

For more information or if you’d like to get a quote, you may wish to contact the firms on our Shared Ownership Solicitors and Conveyancing Panel.


Stamp Duty

First time buyers in Shared Ownership homes will pay zero Stamp Duty on the first £425,000 of any home that costs up to £625,000.

As a first time buyer, when purchasing a Shared Ownership property you will have the option of paying Stamp Duty on the full value of the property as if you were buying outright. The disadvantage here is the initial cost, with the advantage being that you will never have to pay Stamp Duty again – even if you go on to buy the property outright later at a higher price.

Alternatively, you can choose to only pay any Stamp Duty on the share that you are purchasing, which may well be less than the allowance for first time buyers. There may also be a Stamp Duty charge based on the rent payable over the term of the lease (lease premium) called the “net present value”. The advantage being to reduce the costs incurred at the time of purchase, the disadvantage being that the overall cost may be higher when you purchase 80% or more of the property.

If you have already purchased your property and did not elect to pay the full Stamp Duty at outset, then you will not be liable to pay more Stamp Duty until you purchase an 80% share of your home via the staircasing process.

The calculation of the Stamp Duty payable can be complicated and you should seek the advice of your solicitor or other legal adviser for the amount you may be liable to pay early in the process to find out what may be the best option in your circumstances.


Mortgage Broker Fees

Most mortgage brokers will charge a fee for their services and these can vary from a fixed amount to a percentage of the purchase price. A mortgage broker should explain clearly what fees are charged and when before they undertake any work on your behalf. For more information, you may wish to contact a specialist Shared Ownership mortgage broker.


Other moving costs

Other costs may be incurred throughout the process such as removal costs, although these can vary greatly. Housing associations recommend that you have between £3,000 and £5,000 available to cover all the fees and costs of moving, which includes the solicitors and broker fees.


Monthly costs of a Shared Ownership home


Each month you will make repayments on your mortgage, until the time the mortgage has been repaid. The amount you will pay towards your mortgage will be dependent on the value of the share you purchase, the deposit you put down, the remaining length of your mortgage term and the interest rate.



Shared Ownership homes are sold on a leasehold basis. When your lease is first issued, the rent that you pay is generally calculated at 3% of the share still owned by the housing association/landlord. This means that if you were to buy a 50% share of a property worth £200,000 the equity you would pay rent on is £100,000. If you divide the unsold equity by 100 and multiply by 3 you will get the total rent payable per annum. Just divide this by 12 to get the monthly rent payable!

The amount of rent will vary for each home depending on the share you buy and the value of the property when you buy it.


Service Charge

Service charges are payments made by the homeowner to the housing association for the services they provide. These include maintenance and repairs to communal areas, insurance of the building and, in some cases, the provision of lifts, lighting, communal aerials, door entry systems, cleaning of common areas and grounds maintenance, etc. These charges will also usually include the costs of management.

Service charges can vary from year to year, going up or down without any limit other than that they are reasonable. However, a few leases provide a fixed service charge instead so you should always check the terms of your lease to see how your service charge will be calculated.

The amount collected at your development from all residents will be compared with how much has been spent on items such as communal cleaning, gardening and general maintenance and adjusted accordingly. At the end of every financial year, your housing association will be able to provide you with a copy of the audited accounts and clearly explain if there needs to be any changes to your service charge for the year ahead.



Buildings insurance will be the responsibility of the Freeholder – quite often this will be the housing association, however the cost will often be included in the service charge.

Contents insurance – which covers all of the furniture, carpets, white goods and personal belongings in a home – is the responsibility of the person living in the property. It is not compulsory to purchase content insurance but it is advisable.


Future costs in a Shared Ownership home


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. You may acquire additional shares in your property at a price equal to the relevant proportion of the current full open market value of the property. For example: if your home is valued at £300,000 and you want to buy an additional 25% share, the purchase price of your share will be £75,000.

There will likely be other costs involved when buying more shares in your property including broker and solicitor fees, but these will vary from firm to firm. The staircasing process will also vary depending on which version of the Shared Ownership scheme you bought with as some changes were introduced as part of the new Shared Ownership model in 2021/2022. For more in-depth information, please visit our staircasing guide.



If you choose to sell your Shared Ownership home, you will be required to hire a surveyor to value your home. You will have to pay a fee for this valuation but you will be informed of the cost before proceeding. The surveyor will arrange to visit your home to carry out the survey; the valuation will set the sale price for your home and from this, the housing provider can work out the current value of your share. There will likely be other fees involved when selling a Shared Ownership home too, for example solicitor fees.

The resale process can vary between housing associations and will be outlined in the terms of your lease, so we would recommend discussing this with your provider at the outset, before purchasing the property.


Lease extensions

Shared Ownership homes are sold on a leasehold basis and depending on the property you’re purchasing and how long you’ll be living there, you may need to extend this lease at some point during your occupancy. Most housing providers now have their own informal policies in place regarding lease extensions but these will vary; we would recommend discussing this with your provider at the outset, before you purchase the property.


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. You can also start your search on our property portal, using key filters such as location, number of bedrooms and deposit amount to find your ideal home. 

How much is a Shared Ownership deposit?

When buying a Shared Ownership home, you will need to put down a deposit on the share you are purchasing, rather than the full market value of the property. The amount required for a deposit will vary from property to property, but the typical Shared Ownership deposit is 5% or 10% of your share.

For more information about the scheme, visit our Shared Ownership article index.

Is Shared Ownership cheaper than renting?

Shared Ownership can often be more affordable than renting, especially in the long run. While initial costs might include a deposit and legal fees, the monthly payments for a Shared Ownership property are typically lower than renting a comparable property in the same area. This is because you’re paying a mortgage on the portion you own and rent on the remaining share.

Over time, if you purchase more shares, your rental payments will decrease while your mortgage payments might increase, but this could still remain more cost-effective than renting. Additionally, Shared Ownership offers the potential to build equity in the property, unlike renting where your monthly payments do not contribute to ownership.

However, it’s important to consider additional costs like maintenance, service charges, and potential future adjustments to your mortgage payments. A careful assessment of your financial situation and comparison of the costs and benefits between Shared Ownership and renting is recommended.

Do you pay rent on top of Shared Ownership?

Yes, in a Shared Ownership arrangement, you typically pay both a mortgage and rent. The rent is paid on the portion of the property that you don’t own, and this portion is usually owned by a housing association or a similar entity. The combined monthly payments consist of your mortgage payment for the share you own and the rent for the remaining share, as well as service charge if applicable.

Over time, you might have the opportunity to purchase additional shares in the property through a process called ‘staircasing‘. This can eventually lead to owning the property outright. It’s important to consider both the mortgage and rent payments when assessing the affordability of a Shared Ownership property and to ensure that they fit within your budget.

What does 'discounted' or 'subsidised' rent mean on a Shared Ownership home?

The rent you pay on a Shared Ownership home is often referred to as ‘subsidised’ or ‘discounted’ because it’s lower than the market rent you would pay in the local area. The rent is a percentage (usually 2.75% and no more than 3%) of the share retained by the housing association.

The exact percentage is likely to vary from development to development, so we would recommend checking how the rent has been calculated with the sales team at the development you are interested in.

For more information about the scheme, visit our Shared Ownership article index.

My Shared Ownership service charge has gone up, what can I do?

Generally speaking, service charges for Shared Ownership homes are reviewed at the end of each financial year and the terms of these reviews will be outlined in your lease.

However, if you have further questions related to service charges within your home or development, we would recommend contacting your housing provider directly as they will be able to provide you with a copy of the audited accounts and provide clarity on any increases.

For more information on Shared Ownership leases, please visit our page on leasehold homes.

What is ground rent and would I need to pay it for a Shared Ownership home?

Ground rent is usually payable on any leasehold property to the freeholder or ‘superior leaseholder’ for the length of the lease. However, ground rent isn’t usually payable on Shared Ownership homes until you own 100%.

If you have questions regarding ground rent at a specific Shared Ownership development, we would recommend speaking with the relevant housing provider directly as they will be able to advise if this is the case for the home you’re interested in.

For more information on Shared Ownership leases, please visit our page on leasehold homes.

Can you make profit from Shared Ownership?

Making a profit from Shared Ownership is possible, but it’s influenced by several factors. Shared Ownership allows you to gradually purchase a larger share of your property, and if the property’s value increases over time, you could profit from the appreciation when selling your share.

However, the profit potential might be impacted by resale restrictions regulations by housing providers and the terms of your lease. These restrictions are in place to ensure that the property remains affordable for future buyers. Additionally, selling costs, such as fees and legal expenses, could impact your overall profit. While making a substantial profit might not happen on every sale, Shared Ownership can still offer financial stability and a chance to build equity over time.

Can you be refused Shared Ownership?

Yes, Shared Ownership applications can be refused based on certain affordability criteria and eligibility requirements. Housing providers often have specific criteria that applicants must meet to be eligible for Shared Ownership. These criteria could include factors like income thresholds, credit history, and residency status.

Additionally, housing providers might prioritise applicants with a local connection to the area or those in specific housing need categories. If you do not meet these criteria or if your financial situation does not align with the affordability requirements, your application might be declined.

It’s crucial to thoroughly review the eligibility criteria provided by the housing provider and ensure that you meet the necessary conditions before applying for Shared Ownership.