Housing minister proposes shared ownership sales reform

Under present rules anyone looking to sell a property brought through government funded shared ownership schemes has to offer their housing provider first refusal – often leading to delays in the process.

Under the new proposals shared home owners would be able to do this at the same time as putting their home on the open market, shedding months off the time taken to sell.

And those who have managed to purchase further shares to buy their property outright would not need to give the housing provider the first refusal at all.

Lewis said: “Since 2010 we have pulled out all the stops to support those who aspire to own their own home.

“But when owners of shared ownership properties come to sell they face barriers and bureaucracy in their way.

“That’s why I am looking to streamline the process to make it easier to sell on shared ownership properties so those who want to climb the next rung on the property ladder can do so.

Fiona MacGregor, Homes and Communities Agency executive director of programmes, added: “To maintain the success of shared ownership we need feedback from customers, lenders and providers.

“We hope that everyone with an interest will take the time to give informed views on how we can streamline the process for selling on shared ownership homes and remove potential barriers to extending shared ownership.

“Since 2010 the government has delivered nearly 217,000 affordable homes – including all shared ownership homes, helping households looking to get into the market to get a foot on the property ladder at a lower initial cost.

“This announcement builds on a commitment in the Autumn Statement to work with housing associations, lenders and the regulator to lift the barriers that are currently limiting extending shared ownership.