Co-Ownership helps over 1,000 Northern Ireland house buyers in a year

5th May 2021
By: Co-Ownership

Co-Ownership has helped more than 1,000 local households into home ownership in the past year, the majority of which were first-time buyers.

The government-backed organisation plans to help another 400 buyers between now and March next year with £13million in new funding from the Department for Communities.

High demand for its support resulted from a tightening of lender criteria and the withdrawal from the market of low-deposit mortgages since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.

However, banks have started offering 90% mortgages again, with Danske Bank and Bank of Ireland launching 95% options.

House price growth since the pandemic has defied predictions, with local prices up 5.3% year-on-year to an average of just under £148,000.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: “The work Co-Ownership does is very important to the local housing market.

“Home ownership has a hugely positive impact on our economy and the wellbeing of our society, and I am delighted that funding allocations from my department have supported Co-Ownership to provide affordable and alternative options to people who would not be able to otherwise own their own home.”

Over the past year, 500 co-owners have bought out the Co-Ownership share in their home, making them full owners.

Government-backed co-ownership is available on properties up to the value of £165,000.

Successful applicants buy the share of a home they can afford (between 50% and 90%) through lenders offering Co-Ownership mortgages.

Co-Ownership covers the cost of buying the remaining share. As they become able to, co-owners increase their share until they own all of their home.

Mark Graham, chief executive at Co-Ownership said: “To have supported more than 1,000 people into homes during the last 12 months is a great achievement.

“I am very proud of our team who made home ownership possible for our customers during such a challenging year.

“It’s both rewarding and motivating to know we have helped over 30,000 people into home ownership since 1978, and that more than 20,000 of these households have gone on to buy us out fully. This enables us to help even more people buy a home.”