There’s been a lot of talk about the property market cooling down but even if that is happening in London, it isn’t here.
Last week, the Land Registry, which records sale prices of houses (rather than the amount it was advertised at), showed that the average property price across Oxfordshire is now £266,472, up from £263,445 the month before.
So, even if the rate of increase slows, it won’t be much help to those struggling to afford a mortgage for £260,000 or more.
But there are schemes to help, one of which is shared ownership.
Many people don’t realise it’s available, or that they might be eligible.
Run through housing associations, it allows househunters to buy a share of a home, rather than having to find the whole purchase price.
They take out a mortgage for between 25 and 75 per cent of the property value and pay rent to the housing association on the rest.
Anyone can take advantage of shared ownership, if their household earnings are £60,000 a year or less.
The rules are flexible and vary according to personal circumstances but in general, it’s open to first-time buyers, those who used to own a home but can’t afford one now and anyone renting a council or housing association property.
What’s clever, is that you can buy a bigger share of your home any time you want – known as staircasing.
Once you own 100 per cent, you can sell but the housing association has first refusal to buy it back. And if you still part-own, the housing association has the right to find a buyer for your share.
Radian Group is the shared ownership/help to buy agent appointed by the government to cover Oxfordshire and its website includes a step-by-step guide on how to register (there is usually a waiting list) and apply. Priority is given to housing association and local authority tenants, those in the armed forces and people who live or work in the area already.
The website helptobuy south.co.uk lists properties in Oxford and the rest of the county which can be bought this way.
Examples include a one-bedroom flat in Rose Hill which costs £175,000 but the shared ownership amount of 25 per cent would be £43,750. Another is a two-bedroom apartment in Littlemore, a 50 per cent share of which costs £116,000.
Once registered, you’ll be tipped off in advance about properties before they’re listed on the website.
A good way to find out more is to go along to the Help to Buy Show on September 16 at Kassam Stadium in Grenoble Road.
Entry is free and there will be tons of information and advice about homes and schemes available all over Oxfordshire.
Exhibitors include housing associations offering shared ownership and rental properties, developers offering Help to Buy loans, independent financial advisors and solicitors for legal advice.
For details about the event, call 0845 604 1122. For shared ownership details visit helptobuysouth.co.uk
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
4:13pm Thursday 1st October 2015
Katherine MacAlister and family head to London for a busy weekend organised by the children
4:20pm Thursday 24th September 2015
Marc West joins the beautiful people in the cool, yet cosy, boutiques and bars of wonderful Copenhagen
4:44pm Tuesday 22nd September 2015
There is nothing to make that perfect weekend away just a little more perfect than stumbling on the perfect pub.
4:15pm Thursday 17th September 2015
Tim Hughes gets a taste for ‘Midtown’ on a visit to the ultra-luxury Rosewood, London
4:12pm Thursday 10th September 2015
Jaine Blackmans takes a trip up north
10:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
Peter Truman practises his volleys and smashes with a tennis session under the southern Spanish sun
6:18pm Tuesday 25th August 2015
Jon Murray takes in serene sights as he journeys along the idyllic tributaries of the Spree in Brandenburg
10:00am Thursday 13th August 2015
Ed Mezzetti puts his legs to the test by attempting a marathon in the heart of France’s ‘green Venice’ region
3:41pm Friday 7th August 2015
Tim Hughes gets a head for heights in the icy peaks above the mountaineering centre of Chamonix in the French Alps - before taking the waters in elegant Evian
10:00am Thursday 30th July 2015
Katherine Macalister says Featherdown Farm offers all of the luxuries of home out in the fresh open air
10:00am Thursday 23rd July 2015
Jaine Blackman raves about Tobago
10:00am Thursday 16th July 2015
Tim Hughes treads in a king’s footsteps for a stay in a surprisingly serene corner of the Thames Valley
10:00am Thursday 9th July 2015
Jon Murray takes a trip down memory lane with a return visit to Cornwall and likes what he discovers there