Entering the housing market via shared ownership with Aster Group has proved a wise choice for first-time buyer Jennifer Tristram (26), who with her partner Ross Curry (28) now fully owns her property in Bedminster, Bristol – just two years after buying a share.
Project manager Jennifer has achieved the end goal for most shared ownership buyers, and bought the full share in her two-bed apartment, known as ‘staircasing’. She purchased the initial 50 per cent share for £77,000 in 2014 from ethical developer Aster – despite the average house price in Bristol being more than £282,000.
Jennifer said: “I knew I wanted to buy a home that I could live in comfortably straight away, but most properties available in my price range would have needed a lot of work to get them into the condition that I wanted, and I simply wouldn’t have been able to save up a larger deposit.
“I hadn’t really heard of shared ownership before I began my search, but after weighing up all the options, it was exactly the right fit for me. I was able to buy an equity share of a great flat that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford, and I always had the intention of one day owning it outright.
“When my partner Ross and I decided to buy a property together, it made sense to use our joint incomes to buy the remaining 50 per cent. From start to finish, the whole process was much simpler than I’d imagined and as the flat has already increased in value, shared ownership has allowed both of us to get a foot on the property ladder. We might not have been able to do so without it.”
Amy Nettleton, head of sales and marketing for Aster Group, said: “Too many people believe the only way to buy a home is through traditional routes requiring a deposit of many thousands of pounds. As property prices increase, this is only becoming more difficult to achieve.
“Shared ownership provides an alternative solution, but many don’t realise that it applies to them. The upper eligibility threshold has been increased to a household income of £80,000, so it gives the vast majority of buyers the opportunity to get a foot on the property ladder using a smaller initial deposit, increasing their equity share over time and sell at a later date if they wish.
“Examples like Jennifer’s show how well this can work in practice, and is why at Aster we are committed to making shared ownership available to as many buyers as we can.”