Daniel's story

Last year the government introduced a new model for shared ownership, making the most significant changes to the tenure in its history. As the model comes into effect on new shared ownership schemes, one first-time buyer Daniel Parker (28) has recently benefited from the product at MY Resi Upton Square on the outskirts of Northampton.

Daniel was previously living in Oxford with his parents, but with the average house price in the city costing £565,918 and continuing to rise, he began to look further afield with the ambition of getting onto the property ladder.[1] After exploring options in Brackley and Northampton, he discovered MY Resi Upton Square and purchased a 75% share in a one-bedroom apartment worth £95,000 with a low deposit of just £5,000 [full market value: £126,000].

Daniel, a warehouse worker, comments: “I knew that I would never be able to afford to buy a home in Oxford, so I looked further afield with a view to move jobs once I had secured somewhere to live. I started saving whilst I was on furlough during the various lockdowns which boosted my savings and made it possible for me to build up £5,000. After I found MY Resi Upton Square and reserved my home, I started looking for a new job, and made the move all in one go earlier this year. Now I am just a short drive from work in Northampton, but not far from my family in Oxford.”

Daniel is one of the first shared owners at the development to purchase a home using the new shared ownership scheme, which saw a raft of new changes introduced. Amongst others, the changes offer:

  • A minimum share purchase of 10%.
  • A 1% staircasing model (something that SO Resi has offered as standard since 2017).
  • A lease increase to 990 years (SO Resi also introduced this for its existing customers on the old shared ownership model last year).
  • Maintenance and repair costs paid for by housing providers for the first 10 years, with shared owners able to claim £500 in repair costs every year.

On the new scheme, Daniel comments: “For me, the biggest benefit to the new shared ownership model are the changes to repairs and maintenance costs. Especially as I am a first time buyer purchasing by myself, this gives me extra breathing space should anything need to be repaired during the first 10 years. As it’s a new build, there are far less costs associated than with an older property anyway which is great, and there is the existing new homes warranty which covers my own. It feels like there are lots of levels of protection in place as a shared owner that reduce the risk of me being hit suddenly with an expensive repairs bill. I have peace of mind.

“The staircasing element is also useful, although my goal is to save enough to be able to staircase in larger chunks. It does sound like staircasing will be easier for shared owners going forwards which can only be a positive. The main benefit to shared ownership for me is the flexibility of the product – I can increase ownership as and when I can afford to at my own pace.”

Kush Rawal, Director of Residential Investment at SO Resi, comments: “The new shared ownership model is an exciting revamp of the existing product that will offer greater access to homeownership for first time buyers across the country. Whilst some of the new measures in place have been standard at SO Resi for some time, in particular the 1% staircasing element, we are pleased to see that all shared owners regardless of housing provider will benefit from this. As house prices climb and affordable homebuying products continue to be withdrawn from the market, there is a greater need than ever before for shared ownership to be a reliable, accessible product across the country.”

Daniel credits shared ownership with allowing him to become a homeowner. “I hadn’t heard of shared ownership before, but then my sister purchased a home with the scheme,” says Daniel. “It really opened my eyes to how homeownership could become a reality, and I realised that if I moved to a more affordable area then I could move out of my parents and own my own home. Even though I have purchased a large share initially, this was the most I could borrow, so there were no options for me on the open market. It was either shared ownership or be stuck at home, so I’m really pleased the product was available to me.”

MY Resi Upton Square is perfectly placed just outside of Northampton’s historic centre, nearby to Upton Country Park and River Nene. Potential buyers will find an array of popular restaurants, shops, cafes, a cinema, bowling lane and schools.

For those who need to travel, there is a bus stop nearby providing a regular 22-minute service to Northampton and its amenities or for those who travel by car, the M1 is easily accessible providing links to London, Milton Keynes and central England. Castle Street mainline station is also a short drive or cycle away offering hourly trains to London Euston in under 80 minutes and Birmingham in 65 minutes.

The next phase of shared ownership homes will be unveiled at MY Resi Upton Square later this year. For those interested in private sale, a range of apartments and houses are available with prices starting from £140,000 for a one-bedroom apartment available with Help to Buy.