Buying a home with shared ownership or shared equity
Shared ownership and shared equity are schemes that can help you buy a share of a home. The 2 schemes work differently:
shared ownership means a housing association owns part of your home
shared equity means the Scottish Government loans you part of the cost of your home
There may be a waiting list for the schemes in your area.
Before you apply to a scheme
Contact the scheme you're interested in to check if you meet the requirements. You’ll usually only qualify if you do not have enough income or savings to buy a home outright.
You’ll need to show you can get a mortgage on the share you want to buy. Speak to an independent mortgage adviser to work out how much you’ll be able to borrow.
You’ll also need a solicitor to do the legal work. Check our guidance on the process of buying a home.
Buying a home with shared ownership
Shared ownership schemes are usually run by housing associations.
You can buy a 25%, 50% or 75% share of a home. The housing association will own the rest of the property. After you've been living there for a year, you can buy a larger share of your home if you want to.
You’ll get an occupancy agreement that outlines your rights and responsibilities. Check your rights in a shared ownership home.
Finding a shared ownership property
Search online for shared ownership schemes in your area. You can also contact the council’s housing team and ask if they have a list of shared ownership housing providers. Find your council on mygov.scot.
If you find a scheme you’re interested in, check the housing association’s website or contact them to find out how to apply.
Paying for a shared ownership property
Shared ownership is like a cross between renting and buying. You'll have 2 payments to make each month:
a mortgage for the share that you own
a monthly occupancy charge – this is like a reduced rent that you pay to the housing association for living in the part that they own
The occupancy payment amount depends on how much of the property you own.
Buying a home with shared equity
With shared equity, you usually need to buy at least a 60% share of the home. The Scottish Government will loan you the rest of the money through a shared equity agreement, but the home will be fully in your name.
You do not have to pay any occupancy charges to the government. If you ever sell the home, the government will get a share of the money from the sale.
There are 2 shared equity schemes in Scotland. They are the New Supply scheme and the Open Market scheme.
New Supply Shared Equity (NSSE)
With the NSSE scheme, you buy a share of a new build home from a council or housing association.
Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE)
With the OMSE scheme, you’re not restricted to council or housing association properties. You can look for a home on the market that you want to buy a share in.
If you want to increase your share
After you’ve moved in, you can choose to increase your share by at least 5% each year. You can usually do this up to 100%, so that if you sell your home, you will not owe anything to the government.
In some cases, there’s a limit on how much of your home you can buy. The government might keep up to 20%. Check your shared equity agreement or ask your solicitor.
Last updated: 19 January 2023