Shared Ownership: how does it work?

by Leeds Building Society


Shared Ownership offers a great way of getting onto the property ladder, even when this feels completely out of reach.

It means you own a share of a property, rather than the whole property – which could significantly reduce the deposit you’ll need. That’s because your deposit is based only on the share value of the property you purchase.

So what is Shared Ownership?

It offers you the chance to buy a share of a property – usually between 25% and 75% (you can buy a 10% share on some homes) – and then pay rent on the remaining share. You’d typically be paying your rent to a Housing Association.

Once you’ve got your share you may also be able to buy more shares when you can afford it. This is a process called ‘staircasing’.

Who's eligible for Shared Ownership?

It’s worth keeping in mind that each country runs their respective shared ownership scheme slightly differently, including who’s eligible. In England, you’d be able to apply if:

  • You’re a first time buyer, or you’re someone who used to own a home but can no longer afford one.
  • Your household income is less than £80,000, or in London it’s less than £90,000.

Shared Ownership is available on a range of properties, including many new builds. This is great news when it comes to running costs and energy bills – which are typically lower in new properties. And when it comes to moving home, there’s also the opportunity to apply for another Shared Ownership property once you’re in the scheme.

If you’d like more information, including whether you’re eligible, the Shared Ownership website is a great place to start.

Why would you consider it?

Well, if you meet the eligibility criteria, there are lots of reasons to consider Shared Ownership!*

  • Depending on where you’re buying, you could significantly lower the deposit you’ll need because this is only based on the share you’re purchasing.
  • There may be a chance to purchase more shares through ‘staircasing’.
  • You’ll be paying rent on the owned share of the property, as well as your mortgage payments. But you’ll know the amount of rent you’re expected to pay in advance, with future potential increases detailed in your lease. So you can enjoy the reassurance of stability, without worrying about unexpected rent increases.
  • There are lenders out there who specialise in Shared Ownership mortgages, to help you pay for your share of the home’s purchase price.

Drum roll please...

Now that you’re all clued up on Shared Ownership, we’ve got some big news to share. We’ve won the title of Best Shared Ownership Mortgage Lender at the 2023 What Mortgage Awards – making us the only lender to win the title eight years in a row.

Award-winning, Shared Ownership specialists

Our big win really highlights that our focus is on you. We’re committed to providing an excellent mortgage range – including options outside the mainstream, like Shared Ownership. We’ve made it our mission to always focus on what matters to our members, even if they don’t fall within conventional boxes.

If you’re thinking about Shared Ownership and want some more information, you can browse our Shared Ownership mortgages online, or get in touch.


* This is intended as a summary only and does not constitute financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions. We recommend that you seek independent financial advice if you have any questions or queries.

Applicants must be aged 18 years or over. Mortgages are subject to eligibility, status and financial standing.