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Low cost home ownership

HomeBuy is the umbrella brand for Low Cost Home Ownership. It represents a portfolio of schemes designed to help households who would otherwise be unable to purchase a home on the open market suitable for their needs.

You have to fulfil the eligibility criteria in order to qualify for these schemes, which are only available through a HomeBuy Agent. The HomeBuy Agent for South Gloucestershire is Radian at http://www.helptobuysouth.co.uk/

 Schemes available under the HomeBuy umbrella include the following:

• Shared Ownership


• FirstBuy

• Rent to Buy

• Discounted Sale

• NewBuy


• Forces Help to Buy Scheme

Shared Ownership

Also known as New Build HomeBuy, this schemes offers eligible applicants the option to purchase as little as 25% of a new build property (although applicants usually have to purchase a minimum of 40%), and pay a subsidised rent on the remaining amount. There is also the opportunity to buy further shares in the property, and in most cases, until full 100% ownership. 


Home Ownership for People with Long-term Disabilities, or HOLD is a route in to Shared Ownership. Only specialist Registered Providers can offer HOLD assistance within a particular area.  

You will need to be able to sustain the cost of home ownership and will therefore need to either have a lump sum sufficient to cover the initial purchase without the need for a mortgage, or an on-going source of income sufficient to secure mortgage finance. 

Please note that there are currently no lenders providing interest only mortgages for applicants intending to cover their mortgage repayments solely though the support for mortgage interest (SMI) benefit.  

If no new build properties are available for Shared Ownership in your area, or a nearby area, or are unsuitable, then you may be able to purchase a property on the open market.  


The FirstBuy scheme was available until March 2013.

Rent to Buy

Also known as Rent to HomeBuy, this scheme is a stepping stone in to Shared Ownership. Homes are available at either 75% or 80% or market rent for a pre-defined and limited period, after which it is expected that you purchase the property under the terms of Shared Ownership. The reduced rent provides the opportunity to save a deposit to enable the applicant to acquire a mortgage to purchase the property at the end of the pre-defined limited period.  

Help to Buy

Details can be found on the Help to Buy page

Discounted Sale

This scheme restricts the percentage of the total purchase price of a property, for example; 75%. Although the applicant owns 100% of the title, the applicant is only able to sell the property on at the same percentage that they originally purchased it. 

Usually, there is no rent paid on the remaining amount.  

Different properties tend to have different eligibility criteria depending on their location and the development. For further information, please contact the Enabling Team on 01454 865599. 


NewBuy will continue along side Help to Buy and is available in England on all new build properties offered by developers participating in the scheme up to and including a sale price of £500,000. Separate schemes are under consideration in Scotland and Wales. 

This scheme is aimed at first-time buyers and those who already own a home who only have funds for a 5-10% deposit. The lenders participating in the scheme will provide a 90-95% loan-to-value mortgage for buyers meeting their qualifying criteria.

The scheme is operated by the home building industry and mortgage lenders – the banks and building societies – working in partnership with the Government. The scheme is designed to protect the lenders against losses in the unfortunate event of a repossession, which is why they are prepared to make 90-95% mortgages available. It is important to note that this does not change a borrower’s responsibility to repay the mortgage in any way.

Only new homes built by house builders signed up to the scheme will qualify, but most major and many smaller builders are in the process of registering.

Under the scheme, individual home builders will partner up with one or more mortgage lenders who will offer 90-95% loans on their properties.

New home buyers wishing to take advantage of the scheme will need to qualify for a mortgage with a mortgage lender in the usual way and be subject to the lender’s normal assessment criteria. It is only available to UK citizens and those with Indefinite Leave to Remain, and not available to those wanting to purchase a second home.

The following developers have signed arrangements with lenders for 95% mortgages:  

  • Barrat / David Wilson Homes
  • Taylor Wimpey
  • Crest
  • Linden Homes
  • Bovis
  • Persimmon
  • Charles Church
  • Redrow
  • Bellway

The following banks are able to offer NewBuy mortgages: 

  • Woolwich
  • Nationwide
  • Natwest
  • Santander
  • Halifax
  • Barclays 


AFHOS, or Armed Forces Home Ownership Scheme, is a HomeBuy option designed specifically for members of the armed forces (subject to qualifying criteria). The scheme provides assistance to buy a home for members of the armed forces who have between four and six years of continuous service.

AFHOS can provide loans of between 15-50% of the value of the home that you choose on the open market, usually through an estate agent like any other buyer. For example if you qualify for a mortgage of £70,000, you could potentially purchase a property worth up to £140,000.

For more details and to find out if you qualify for the scheme visit: www.afhos.co.uk or contact the scheme agent, Swaythling Housing Society on 0800 028 1980, or email enquiries@afhos.co.uk

Forces Help to Buy scheme
The Government have recently announced a new £200 million scheme nationally to help Service personnel buy their first home. 
The scheme will start on 1st April 2014 for an initial 3 year period.
The new Forces Help to Buy scheme will mean servicemen and women can borrow up to 50% of their salary, interest-free, repayable over 10 years. The measures will allow Service personnel to borrow up to a maximum amount of £25,000, providing a boost to those needing to find a deposit to buy their own home.


Eligibility for all HomeBuy

To see if you are eligible for any of the schemes described here, you should be able to say YES to ALL of the following criteria: 

my household income is less than £60,000

  • I am unable to afford to purchase a home suitable for my housing needs within a reasonable travelling distance of my work place
  • I can demonstrate access to savings or sufficient funds to pay, if required, a deposit (which may be 5% or more of the total purchase price), legal fees, stamp duty, and other costs of moving
  • I am able to sustain home ownership in the longer term
  • I am not already a home owner or named on a home mortgage
  • I have a good credit history 

You can apply for all of these schemes (apart from NewBuy and AFHOS) through Radian on 0845 604 1122 or


NewBuy is available from the relevant registered developers. Please look at their websites, or contact their sales teams for further information. 

AFHOS is available from Swaythling Housing Society who can be contacted on 0800 028 1980.