Following a relaxation of eligibility criteria from the start of April, Shared Ownership could now be open to 175,000 more Londoners.

Already the scheme, which allows purchasers to buy a share in properties whilst renting the share remaining at a reduced rate, has helped over 52,000 Londoners get onto the property ladder.

Nevertheless, before these changes, many first-time buyers of new houses and other properties had not been able to take advantage of the scheme because of stringent eligibility criteria. This was disappointing for many since the scheme allows purchasers to put down a deposit of as little as 5% for a new house.

In order to inform first-time new house buyers and others about Shared Ownership, the PricedIn Learning campaign was launched by L&Q. This was also aimed to let buyers know if the scheme would be particularly helpful to them.

The events and property marketing expert at L&Q, Alice Turner explained how the criteria for Shared Ownership has changed: “The eligibility criteria has always been an important part of Shared Ownership in order that it targets the people it’s meant to help. Nevertheless, that criteria has been relaxed to some extent.

“For instance, to be eligible for Shared Ownership in London, a household can now be earning a maximum income of £90,000 (outside London it’s £80,000).

“In addition, to qualify for the scheme before, there were restrictions in place such as having had to have lived or worked in the local borough. That’s now changed with many Shared Ownership developments being London wide, this mirrors less restrictions happening outside London. The result of this is that anyone who doesn’t own a property at present, no matter in what borough, could be eligible to buy using Shared Ownership. Importantly, this also makes Shared Ownership more compatible with other Government Help to Buy schemes which means home buyers have more options as well as flexibility. It also makes Shared Ownership available to more first-time buyers which gives them a buying opportunity for new houses and other properties that, potentially, could change their lives.”

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