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Maximum value limit on homes for co-ownership in Northern Ireland rises again

Maximum value limit on homes for co-ownership in Northern Ireland rises again

The upper value limit on homes for co-ownership in Northern Ireland has been raised to £195,000, communities minister Gordon Lyons has announced.

The £5,000 increase follows a similar move carried out in September 2022 that saw the value limit lifted by £15,000.

Co-ownership is Northern Ireland’s version of shared ownership, and enables people to buy a share of a home and increase it gradually until they own it all. 

More than 10,000 homes across the devolved nation are supported by the scheme.

The new upper limit also applies to rent-to-own deals, for people whose credit rating is affecting their ability to get a mortgage, and co-ownership for over-55s. 

Mr Lyons said: “As minister with responsibility for housing, I am committed to helping more people and families as they seek to access homeownership.

“As well as making homes more affordable for buyers, this announcement should provide further confidence to the construction sector as it continues to provide new housing,” he added.

“[But] for all the societal and economic benefits that good housing brings, the real impact here is on individuals and families.”

Mark Graham, chief executive of Co-Ownership, the not-for-profit body that manages the scheme, said raising the value limit would help it keep pace with house prices.

According to a recent report by Halifax, prices in the region increased by 5.3% to an average £195,760 in the 12 months to January 2024, faster than anywhere else in the UK.

“Shared ownership remains a crucial part of the affordable housing market in Northern Ireland, and we are pleased that with the Department for Communities’ support our work will continue to make a hugely positive societal contribution,” Mr Graham said.

“As this announcement details, we remain committed to helping those who may not otherwise be able to afford a home of their own, and we’re confident that this change will have a positive impact on applicants to co-own,” he added.

Mr Lyons promised last month to have a strategic focus on “big issues like housing” so that people “can have access to safe, warm and affordable homes”.

Source: Inside Housing - Alex Turner