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Affordable Home Ownership Schemes in the UK

There are several affordable home ownership schemes available in the UK. With the financial assistance of the UK Government, these schemes are aimed at helping people who, without such schemes, would not be able to afford a property on the open market. There are many types of schemes available to people in the UK, but they fall into two main categories:

  • schemes aimed at buyers looking to buy a new, or a re-sale, property,
  • schemes aimed at current tenants enabling them to buy the home they currently live in. 

Schemes for buying new property

Shared Ownership, which is a product available through Family Mosaic, is one of the most popular schemes allowing buyers to get on the property ladder.

What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership allows people to buy a share in a property, and is also referred to as Part Buy Part Rent. You will be able to buy an initial share in the property (between 30% and 75% of the home’s value), for which you will need to get a mortgage and pay a subsidised rent on the remaining share you don’t own.

Shared Ownership helps first time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder. Buying a home in the current market is very difficult for many people but Shared Ownership makes it possible to buy a property which otherwise would not have been affordable. For more information on Shared Ownership, view our complete guide to Shared Ownership.

If you buy through Shared Ownership:

  • You will own part of the value of your home, rather than paying rent with no return.
  • Your monthly mortgage and rent can work out cheaper than buying outright, and often not much more than renting.
  • You can buy more shares (staircasing) or sell your share and move if you want to in the future.
  • You only buy what you and we feel you can comfortably afford.

Who can apply for Shared Ownership properties?

Below are the basic eligibility criteria for Shared Ownership. The complete list can be found on our Shared Ownership eligibility page.

  • Your total household income needs to be no more than £90,000 per annum. A lower income threshold (£80,000) is applicable for developments outside London boroughs.
  • You must either be a first time buyer or:
    • Be a newly forming household; for example, starting again after a relationship break up.
    • Be relocating for work purposes to an area where property prices do not allow you to buy a home suitable for your family size.
  • You must not currently own a home anywhere in the world, unless a court order forces you to remain on the deed of a property where your children reside.
  • You must be unable to afford to buy a property suitable for your family size on the open market.
  • The Shared Ownership home you’re looking to buy must be your principle or only home and you may not sublet all or part of it.

Shared Ownership Purchase Example for multiple property values

Market Value £200,000 £325,000 £450,000
Share Percentage 35% 35% 35%
Share Value £70,000 £113,750 £157,500
Deposit Required £3,500 (5%) £5,687.50 (5%) £22,500 (5%)
Mortgage Required £66,500 £108,062.50 £427,500
Estimated Monthly Rent on unsold value £216.67 £352.08 £487.50
Estimated Monthly Mortgage £415.95 £675.92 £935.88
Estimated Monthly Service Charge £125.00 £150.00 £175.00
Minimum single income required* £28,091 £45,011 £61,931
Minimum joint income required* £31,258 £50,157 £69,056
Total Monthly Estimated Cost £757.61 £1,178.00 £1,598.38

*This will depend on the size of deposit you have, and we ask that you undertake a Financial Assessment prior to viewing a property to ensure it is affordable for you.

Buying more shares in your property

Once you have purchased your initial share in a Shared Ownership property, you have the option to increase the share you own. This is also referred to as 'staircasing'. When you buy more shares in your property, your rent will decrease as your ownership increases with shares purchased for the market value at the time of staircasing. For more information, visit our guide to staircasing.

Selling your home

You can sell your home at any time. If you own 100% of your property you can advertise on the open market via an Estate Agent. If you own a share of your property, under the terms of your lease the housing association will usually have eight weeks to find a buyer for your home who meets the affordable homes criteria.

Search for Shared Ownership properties

Family Mosaic have a selection of Shared Ownership and resale properties (Shared Ownership properties being sold by current leaseholders) available throughout London and Essex with new properties coming onto the market on a regular basis. To view our current Shared Ownership homes available to buy, use our property search page.

Help to Buy: Equity Loans

How does it work?

When purchasing with Help to Buy Equity Loans, you will need at least a 5% deposit to contribute to the full property value. The UK Government will then give you up to an additional 20% of the property value to be used as part of the deposit. This means you will then need to arrange for a mortgage to cover the remaining 75% of the property value.

Who can apply for Equity Loans?

Equity Loans through Help to Buy are open to first time buyers and home movers on new build properties up to the value of £600,000. This must be the only property in your ownership and you will not be able to sublet your home.

An Example:

Property valued at £250,000 Amount Percentage
Cash Deposit £12,500 5%
Equity Loan £50,000 20%
Your Mortgage £187,500 75%


How you pay back the Equity Loan and selling your home

You are required to pay back the equity loan after 25 years or when you decide to sell your home – whichever occurs first. The amount you pay back will be dependent on the market value of your property at the time.

An Example:

Market Value of your home Equity loan taken out Amount
Bought for £250,000 20% Borrowed £50,000
Sold for £275,000 20% Pay Back £55,000


You don’t have to pay back the entire value but can also pay back only a part of the loan. The amount you pay back will depend on the market value of the property at the time, but the minimum you can pay back is 10% of the market value of your home.

An Example:

Market Value of your home Percentage Amount
Bought for £250,000 Borrowed 20% Borrowed £50,000
Value at time of payment £260,000 Paying back 10% Pay back £26,000

Are there any fees for an Equity Loan?

The first five years after purchasing your home, you will not be charged any loan fees on your equity loan. After this five year period, you will be charged a fee of 1.75% of the loan’s value. This fee will increase each year thereafter which is calculated using the Retail Prices Index plus 1%. These fees will not count towards the repayment of the equity loan.

How to apply for an equity loan

To apply for an equity loan, you can contact the Help to Buy agent in the area where you would like to live. Your Help to Buy agent will have a list of registered Help to Buy builders who you will need to buy from to qualify for an Equity Loan.

Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantees

How does it work?

When purchasing with Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantees, you will be able to buy a home up to the value of £600,000 with a 5% deposit. The guarantee is provided to your mortgage lender by the government rather than to you as the purchaser.

Who can apply for Mortgage Guarantees?

Equity Loans on Help to Buy are open to first time buyers and home movers on new build properties up to the value of £600,000. This must be the only property in your ownership and you will not be able to sublet your home.

Mortgage Guarantee eligibility

To be able to qualify for Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee, your home must meet certain requirements:

  • The purchase price of your home must be £600,000 or less.
  • It must be your main residence, not a second home.
  • It cannot be sublet after your purchase.
  • It cannot be a Shared Ownership or Shared Equity purchase.

The property itself does not have to be a new built property to qualify for a Mortgage Guarantee and there is also no limit on your income level. However you are unable to use Help to Buy with any other publicly funded mortgage scheme.

How to apply for a Mortgage Guarantee

To apply for a Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee you will need to apply directly with lenders taking part in the scheme. Most major banks take part in the scheme with a full list available on the Gov.uk website.

Help to Buy: New Buy

Help to Buy NewBuy allows you to buy a new build home with a deposit of 5% of the property purchase price.

Mortgage Guarantee eligibility
To be able to qualify for Help to Buy NewBuy, your home must meet certain requirements:

  • The property you purchase must be a new build
  • The purchase price of your home must be £500,000 or less
  • It must be your main residence, not a second home
  • It must be built by a builder taking part in the NewBuy scheme
  • It cannot be a Shared Ownership or Shared Equity purchase

You must also be a UK citizen or have right to remain indefinitely. As with Mortgage Guarantee you don’t have to be a first time buyer and there is no limit on your level of income.

How to apply for Help to Buy NewBuy
To apply for Help to Buy NewBuy you will need to apply directly with lenders taking part in the scheme. The lender will check you can afford to repay the mortgage as with any other mortgage application.

Schemes for social tenants

There is a number of schemes aimed at social tenants wishing to buy the home they live in. 

(Preserved) Right to Buy

Preserved Right to Buy is a statutory government scheme, which means that housing associations are not at liberty to op out of this scheme. Under this scheme, tenants who were moved out of their council flats and into housing association stock were offered up to £103,900 (£77,900 outside London) towards purchasing the property they are currently living in.

Exemptions on the Preserved Right to Buy include:

  • the length of you tenancy - you need to have lived in your property for at least five years,
  • good record as a tenant - no fraud issues, anti social behaviour or rent arrears, 
  • there are some restrictions on the type of property that can be purchased under this scheme.

(Voluntary) Right to Buy

Voluntary Right to Buy is a scheme that is estimated to run nationally in spring 2018. It entitles tenants who live in housing association stock to purchase the property they live in.

This Right to Buy scheme is voluntary which means that housing associations can choose whether to offer it to their tenants. Family Mosaic has chosen to offer Voluntary Right to Buy once the scheme is launched.

Right to Acquire

Right to Acquire is another scheme aimed at social tenants. It offers a discount of up to £16,000 to tenants who have been moved out of council housing and into housing association property that has been built by a social housing grant before 1997. Right to Acquire may differ depending on which borough you live in. 

How useful are Right to Buy schemes?

In London, Right to Buy and Right to Acquire schemes might have limited use as with both of them, tenants have to purchase the whole property outright. With many of these properties being valued at half a million pounds and more, even a generous discount may not be enough for the tenants to be able to afford the purchase.

Also, the amount of money they receive under the Right to Buy scheme, depends on how long they've been living in your flat. To benefit from the full amount offered (£104,900 in London) they need to have lived in their property for 15-20 years. 

Social Homebuy 

Social Homebuy is a voluntary scheme but Family Mosaic elected to offer it to its tenants. If you have lived in your property for five years you will be entitled to a discount (between £11,000 and £16,000) when you choose to purchase your current home.

But the real benefit of Social Homebuy is that is works very much like Shared Ownership. In order to receive the full discount, you need to purchase 100% of the property. But you may also buy a share of the property (receiving proportionately smaller discount) and then buy further shares when you can afford to. The minimum share you can buy is 25% and the maximum is 100%. This is why it is the most affordable scheme available. 

What is the difference between Right to Buy and Social Homebuy?

With Social Homebuy you can choose to buy a portion of your property and increase your share in time. Right to Buy / Right to Acquire require you to purchase the whole property in one go. 

What is the difference between Social Homebuy and Shared Ownership?

Social Homebuy works similarly to Shared Ownership but you also get a discount that you don't get when you purchase a Shared Ownership property. On the other hand, with Social Homebuy you can only purchase the property you currently live in.


*Information provided in this article is to be used as a guide only. For more information on Help to Buy you should contact your local Help to Buy agent, or for information on Shared Ownership, please contact us.