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With the average deposit for a home in Ealing setting buyers back by over £60,000, first time buyers are turning to shared ownership to get their foot onto the property ladder for a fraction of the price. One couple, Terry Harvey (46) and his husband Diego Negherbon (38), were renting a one-bedroom apartment in Ealing and decided to use shared ownership to buy their first home, and recently purchased a 25% share in a two-bedroom apartment at SO Resi Ealing in West London.
Terry and Diego knew that they wanted to get onto the property ladder in Ealing, but knew that it would be impossible to save up a deposit for the home they wanted. After finding out about shared ownership, the couple spent three years saving a £14,000 deposit which enabled them to buy a 25% share in a brand new two-bedroom apartment just minutes from the famous Ealing Broadway.
Terry, who works for TFL, comments: “I have lived in Ealing for over 18 years, and Diego for 5 years, and we love living here – but property prices are very expensive. By using shared ownership, we were able to purchase a 25% share in a two-bedroom apartment with a deposit of just £14,000. Our plan is to staircase and buy an additional 1% share every year for the next 15 years. Shared ownership was an opportunity for us to invest in something of our own, and without it, we wouldn’t have been able to buy in Ealing.”
Shared ownership allows the purchase of between 25 and 75 per cent of a property for a deposit of five to 10 per cent of that share, with rent paid on the remainder to the housing trust. The homebuying product has become increasingly popular in recent years, with SO Resi reporting that enquiries for shared ownership properties increased by 130% in the week following the easing of restrictions.
Kush Rawal, Director of Residential Developments at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, comments: “Shared ownership is a much more affordable option for first time buyers with a lower deposit amount saved. In recent weeks many of the higher loan to value mortgage deals have been removed from the market and so shared ownership will certainly be proving to be an attractive option for first time buyers.
“Throughout the period of lock-down, we have experienced a strong demand from purchasers keen to tap into the financial benefits of shared ownership. There will be many reasons for this surge of interest, but we can mainly attribute this to the affordable nature of the scheme and a period of calm allowing first time buyers to refocus their homebuying goals.”
Terry and Diego are expected to move into their new home later this year, and are looking forward to living in their own spacious apartment. Whilst they are familiar with the local area, they are happy that their purchase means they can remain in Ealing permanently.
Diego, who works for Avanti West Coast, adds: “We are so happy that we can afford to buy a new home in Ealing thanks to shared ownership. The area itself is fantastic and offers the best of London. There are so many green open spaces, and always lots going on, from festivals to comedy nights, as well as regular farmer’s markets. Once Crossrail arrives, this will change everything as we will be able to get into central London in about 12 minutes. SO Resi Ealing is perfectly located within walking distance from all the amenities we need.”