Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Co-Ownership mortgages jump 15% as new buyers struggle to fund high deposits

By Emma Deighan

The number of households in Northern Ireland purchasing a home through the Co-Ownership Housing Association increased by 15% in the last 12 months, according to a new survey.

More than 800 homes were purchased through co-ownership in the 2017/18 financial year, the not-for-profit organisation revealed.

It said the increase in uptake for a co-ownership purchase reflects "struggles" among homebuyers, including difficulties generating high deposits.

Its research shows that 42% of 25 to 34-year-olds say that a lack of a deposit is stopping them from buying a home.

The co-ownership model allows prospective homeowners to purchase a share of their chosen property up to a maximum purchase price of £165,000, and they may not need a deposit as some lenders accept the co-ownership portion for this purpose.

Co-Ownership Housing chief executive Mark Graham said: "Working with all the major mortgage providers, people can take the first step into home ownership without the need for a deposit and with lower monthly housing costs compared with privately renting.

"For this reason, we hope to help 900 families become homeowners through co-ownership in 2018/19, enabling even more people to buy the home they want."

Mr Graham said a new digital portal would be added to the organisation's site this year to simplify decision-making.

Leo O'Reilly, permanent secretary of the Department for Communities, said: "Co-Ownership has been a valued delivery partner of Government over the past 40 years.

The department looks forward to our continued partnership working to increase the supply of affordable housing across Northern Ireland and help many more lower income households to fulfil their aspirations of homeownership."

Belfast Telegraph

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