How shared ownership works according to people who’ve used the scheme

Shared ownership was the key for these buyers (Picture: Richard Eaton)

Would-be buyers who are weary of renting but are struggling to track down a home they can afford, could find that shared ownership makes a world of difference — as Kostadinka Malzarkova can testify.

A serial renter for 21 years after moving to London from North Macedonia, she felt it was high time to step on to the property ladder. So she investigated her options.

‘Having saved for almost seven years, I knew that I definitely wanted to go through an affordable scheme for the purchase of my first home, which I see as an investment,’ explains Kostadinka, a private and venture capital fund trainee executive. ‘I was very confident that shared ownership was right for me.’

This flexible part-buy, part-rent scheme allows people with a household income of up to £90,000 (£80,000 outside London) to buy a share in a home and pay subsidised rent on the rest to a housing association.

The initial share is currently between 25 and 75% of full market value, but is set to drop to a minimum of 10%, opening up shared ownership to more people.

Kostadinka Malzarkova

Kostadinka sees her shared ownership apartment as an investment

Shared owners can buy more shares in their home — a process known as staircasing — up to full 100% ownership if they want and can afford to. Another benefit is they need just a 5-10% deposit on the share they buy — a fraction of what would be required on the open market.

When a friend recommended she consider Southall, Kostadinka booked an appointment at the Evolution development, by Network Homes.

She saw two apartments which didn’t quite suit her, then came across the perfect one-bedroom flat with space to work from home, which she reserved immediately after her viewing and moved into at the beginning of November.

‘I was able to purchase a 25% share with a 10% deposit and the whole process was really clear and speedy,’ she says. ‘It feels really nice to have my own place without having to worry about other people’s privacy.

‘I would definitely recommend the scheme to those looking to get on the property ladder who don’t have a substantial deposit.’

One, two and three-bedroom apartments at Evolution are ready to move into right away, and start from £75,000 for a 25% share of £300,000, via Network Homes.

Check out these affordable flats available through shared ownership

Dominion Apartments, Walthamstow E17

From £114,000 for a 30% share of £380,000

Dominion Apartments, Walthamstow E17, from ?114,000 for a 30 per cent share of ?380,000 (

Launching at the end of the month

  • Launching March 31 — register your interest now
  • One, two and three-bedroom homes
  • Light and airy living areas
  • Contemporary kitchens with fully integrated appliances
  • Each home has a garden, balcony or terrace
  • In walking distance of Walthamstow Central (Victoria line) and Overground stations
  • Close to Walthamstow Wetlands, Europe’s largest nature reserve

Check it out via Newlon Living.

The Grove, Croydon CR0

From £99,750 for 25% of £399,000

The Grove, Croydon CR0, from ?99,750 for 25 per cent of ?399,000 (

Each flat has it’s own balcony plus access to a residents-only roof garden

  • Two and three-bedroom flats
  • Each has a decked inset balcony
  • Contemporary matt white handleless kitchens with integrated appliances
  • Three residents-only roof gardens with sweeping views over south London
  • Lounge and work areas in the lobby of the building
  • Moments from East Croydon station, for fast trains to London Bridge, Victoria and Gatwick airport
  • Cycle storage

Check it out via Optivo.

Sanderling House and Harlequin House, Enfield EN3

from £87,000 for a 30% share of £290,000

Sanderling House and Harlequin House, Enfield EN3, from ?87,000 for a 30 per cent share of ?290,000 (

Comes with fitted wardrobes and built in appliances

  • One-bedroom apartments
  • Part of a wider regeneration scheme with landscaped public spaces and play areas
  • All homes include a private balcony, accessed from the living room
  • Designed to maximise space, light and storage
  • Fitted bedroom wardrobes
  • Built-in kitchen appliances
  • A short walk to Ponders End station, a 17-minute commute into London Liverpool Street

Check it out via Newlon Living.

Acton Works, Park Royal, London NW10

From £82,500 for a 25% share of £330,000

Acton Works, Park Royal, London NW10, from ?82,500 for a 25 per cent share of ?330,000 (

You can even bring your pets with you

  • Final phase of one and two-bedroom apartments
  • Pet-friendly development
  • All homes have a private balcony and access to landscaped rooftop gardens
  • Sleek kitchens with integrated appliances
  • Incentive of £500 for legal fees
  • An up-and-coming area in wider Old Oak and Park Royal regeneration
  • Harlesden, Park Royal and Acton main line stations are in walking distance

Check it out via Network Homes.

‘We’re thrilled to be on the ladder’

Alan Crookham and John Whelan

Alan and John decided to buy their own place during the pandemic (Picture: Richard Eaton)

Alan Crookham, 52, and John Whelan, 49, are equally thrilled with their new home, a one-bedroom apartment with a balcony overlooking courtyard gardens at Lazenby Square by Peabody, in Southwark.

However, they hadn’t planned to buy until they were prompted by the pandemic, as Alan, head of library and archives at the National Gallery, explains.

‘We were living in a 1930s one-bedroom flat near the Walworth Road in Southwark for about 11 years, also rented through Peabody.

‘We liked our old place but it had its flaws. We were on the ground floor so there were no nice views and we had no private outside space.

‘When Covid came into play, it made us re-evaluate our lives and what we wanted from our home. A priority for us both was having outside space and a nice outlook. We began our property search and while out cycling during lockdown we came across Peabody’s shared ownership homes at Lazenby Square.

‘Like many others, staying at home during that period meant we were able to save money. We had savings put aside for our retirement, but decided instead to use that for a deposit.

‘Shared ownership was a good option for both of us, as the lower deposit required through the scheme meant we could buy a home together and still stay in London.’

John, a freelance theatre director, adds: ‘We purchased a 30% share in our apartment, using a deposit of £24,525. Peabody was really helpful and put us in touch with a mortgage broker who talked us through our options and what we could comfortably afford.

‘Now we have purchased a property we have an added level of security. And shared ownership has given us that step up into home ownership, while also investing in our future.

‘We definitely won’t be moving as we have everything we could wish for. We’re so happy here.’

A handful of one and two-bedroom flats remain for sale at Lazenby Square, from £136,250 for a 25% share of £545,000, via Peabody.

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