Shared-ownership scheme aimed at first-time buyers in north east Somerset
First-time buyers in north east Somerset are being offered a helping hand to get on the property ladder, thanks to a new shared-ownership scheme.
Bath Building Society has joined forces with social landlord Curo to give people on low incomes the opportunity to make the move from renting to buying.
The scheme will allow buyers to benefit from any increase in the value of the property, as well as purchasing a larger stake in the house or flat until they can afford to buy it outright.
Dick Jenkins, chief executive of Bath Building Society, said: "Getting people on the property ladder frees up the market, but I also think it is unhealthy for society generally that people cannot afford to buy their own homes.
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"I regret that people have difficulty accessing a market that for older people like myself has benefited us throughout our lives. We want to offer people the same opportunities we had access to."
The shared-ownership mortgage is available to people living in any of the areas where Curo has properties.
It is a three-year fixed rate, with an interest rate ranging from 4.59 per cent to 5.49 per cent, depending on the size of the deposit, which can be as low as five per cent.
People would own a minimum of 40 per cent of the property and would pay a reduced rent on the share they have not purchased.
Curo's executive director of finance and resources Dominic Lynch said this was the latest in a number of initiatives the housing association was branching out into.
Mr Lynch said: "We want to be able to provide homes for everybody, whatever stage of their lives they are at. Whatever people need, as they move through the different parts of their life, we would like to satisfy that.
"Social housing is our core, but this is about building communities. We want to be able to cater for everybody."
He added that Curo was continuously working with Bath and North East Somerset Council to make sure new social housing provision was available, to top up the supply after properties were taken out of the pool for these kind of initiatives.