Back to Home

Published: 11 May 2022

Getting onto the housing ladder can be tricky. However, Shared Ownership may be a useful option for many first-time buyers.

We sat down for a chat with Sean Hanson, Senior Product and Pricing manager for affordable housing, to explore some key points of Shared Ownership and dispel some myths around the scheme.

What is Shared Ownership?

As the name suggests, Shared Ownership is when you buy a share of a property and pay rent on the rest. It helps people onto the housing ladder because the deposit needed is based on the share of the property. This means it’s usually a much lower deposit amount than a standard property purchase. For the part of the property that isn’t owned, the homeowner pays rent to a landlord.

The landlord for most Shared Ownership properties is a housing association, and they provide these properties as part of their wider affordable housing offerings.

Are Shared Ownership homes always new builds?

No, but most of the homes available for Shared Ownership are new build properties due to how they come to market. You’ll often find a number of Shared Ownership properties on a new build development because building these properties is usually a requirement for the development to take place.

There is an active market for existing Shared Ownership properties, where customers who move out of their property sell it on.

Is it only first-time buyers that can use the Shared Ownership scheme?

It’s a scheme aimed at first time buyers but not exclusive to them. For example, if you’re a former homeowner who can’t afford to buy a suitable home on the open market, you could be eligible for a Shared Ownership mortgage. Shared Ownership exists to help prospective homebuyers over the hurdle of a getting together what would be a much larger deposit to buy on the open market, which is why most of our Shared Ownership members are first time buyers.

What makes us What Mortgage's Shared Ownership Mortgage Lender of the year?

It’s fair to say we’ve been recognised as a key lender of Shared Ownership mortgages, as we’ve won the What Mortgage Award six years running (2016-2021), displaying our commitment to helping support the needs of the market.

What helps makes us a commended Shared Ownership lender is we provide up to 95% of the agreed share, which helps homebuyers take advantage of the full benefit of Shared Ownership.

We’ve also provided these type of mortgages for a long time, so we’ve been able to build up valuable experience and a strong reputation. Also, we also have established relationships with the brokers who work with housing associations, which has created an avenue for new Shared Ownership homebuyers to use our mortgages.

For more information on Shared Ownership, please visit

This Leeds Building Society article is intended for information purposes only and is accurate at the time of publication. It’s always advisable to verify any information before relying

Your property could be repossessed if you don't keep up your mortgage repayments.

You may also be interested in