Data released by Nationwide Building Society has revealed that potential first-time buyers must typically save for almost nine years to afford a deposit to buy a home and get on the property ladder. However, Co-Ownership have reassured prospective first-time buyers that they can get their foot on the property ladder in a much shorter time.
In Northern Ireland, the data showed that a 20-percent deposit would amount to around £24,000, typically taking just under 9-years to save.
Co-Ownership, Northern Ireland’s main provider of shared ownership, are reassuring potential first-time buyers in Northern Ireland that support is available to combat growing difficulties around saving for a deposit.
“The data demonstrates the impact low wages and interest rates are having on potential first-time buyers who are struggling to raise the money to afford a deposit,” explained Mark Graham, Co-Ownership’s Chief Executive.
“We see the wider economic challenges that prospective home-owners face; low wages, temporary contracts and the higher levels of debt that often result which in turn add to the amount of time required to save for a deposit,” he added.
Co-Ownership is committed to helping people into home-ownership and recognise that the most significant barriers to achieving this is saving for a deposit, but the housing association has urged potential first-time buyers who are having difficulty to raise a deposit to consider the shared ownership scheme.
“With shared ownership you don’t have to wait up to nine years to save for a deposit. In many cases you don’t need a deposit at all, as a number of mortgage lenders accept our share in the property as the deposit,” Mark explained.
Alternatively, Co-Ownership is currently trialling ‘Rent to Own’, a new way into home-ownership for potential first-time buyers in Northern Ireland that allows the customer to enter a fixed-term rental agreement for up to 3-years. After the 3-year period, 25-percent of the tenant’s rental payments are returned to act as the deposit in purchasing the property.
“Through Rent to Own you are able to live in the home you want now, without waiting years to save for a deposit. At the same time as living in the property you want to be in, you have the option to own it later.
“Rent to Own is one way Co-Ownership is working to support people in Northern Ireland into home-ownership in response to precisely what this latest data has revealed,” Mark concluded.
Co-Ownership is hosting an open evening on Thursday, February 1 from 4.30 pm to 7.30 pm at its offices in Murray Street, Belfast, where prospective home-owners can find out more about the support that is available to them while also meeting with potential mortgage lenders to talk about mortgage options.
For more information, visit co-ownership.org or call 02890327276. You can also visit the Co-Ownership Housing office on Murray Street, Belfast, where advisors are available to help with any queries.