Shared Equity Property Purchases
Shared equity purchases are becoming increasingly popular. This is a way of allowing you onto the property-owning ladder without having to pay the full purchase price. Typically you buy a proportion of the property, usually 50%, and the remaining part of the purchase is effectively treated as rented and you pay monthly rent in the normal way for that proportion of the property. Many colleges of the University of Cambridge operate shared equity schemes for their academic staff.
You have the option of purchasing more of the equity and reducing the amount you rent from the landlord (who is usually a housing association). Your lease will specify when and by how much you can increase your ownership.
If you sell a shared ownership property you normally have to offer the property back to the landlord. The landlord will rarely wish to purchase it, however, and you are then free to sell the property on the open market or as indicated in the lease.
You can obtain a mortgage, often for the whole of the proportion that you are purchasing, and if you choose to increase your ownership, you can usually borrow more money to fund the purchase.