FIRST-TIME buyers in Burnley are being given a helping hand onto the property ladder.
Under the Government’s Shared Ownership scheme, new figures show that monthly payments are £13 cheaper than private rents and nearly £100 less than traditional mortgages in the North-West.
On average, Burnley first-time buyers must borrow 4.8 times their annual income to reach the first rung of the ladder – and only after they have saved a large deposit.
In the report by the National Housing Federation (NHF), based on the average Shared Ownership house price of £129,281, typical monthly mortgage payments work out at £511 with deposits only half of the usual amount required.
Shared Ownership allows first-time buyers to buy a share in selected new build homes and pay a small rent to a housing association on the percentage they do not own.
Deposits are smaller and buyers can go on to buy outright in the future if they can afford to.
To qualify, buyers must not already own their own home and are allowed to earn a household income of up to £60,000 per year.
The scheme is operated by a regional network of government-appointed HomeBuy agencies and Mr Matthew Harrison, deputy chief executive of North-West agency Plumlife, said: “The fact is, thousands of working people are trapped in the private rental market, which leaves them exposed to unregulated and often pricey rents, and the insecurity of being beholden to a landlord.
“Shared ownership is a fantastic product, with an excellent 30 year track record of success. It’s very popular with buyers and it’s a superb value for money investment for the Government, as it lowers the numbers applying for social housing.
“It frees up the over-saturated rental sector, offering more choice and lower rents to those who can’t or don’t want to buy.”
For more information about shared ownership or other government backed affordable homes schemes, visit www.plumlife.co.uk or ring 0161 447 5151.