Shared equity for older people

Last updated: 20 March 2019

Open Market Shared Equity

If you want to buy a home that's for sale on the open market but can't afford the total cost, you might be able to get help through the Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme.

With the OMSE scheme, you'll pay for the biggest share – usually between 60% and 90% of the home's value – and the Scottish Government will hold the remaining share under a shared equity agreement which it will enter into with you.

If you then sell the home, the Scottish Government will get its share of the money.

Find out how to apply for the Open Market Shared Equity scheme.

OMSE for over-60s

People aged 60 or over have priority in the Open Market Shared Equity scheme.

While others have to take out a mortgage if they're buying a house through the scheme, over-60s don't have to do this (though you can if you want to).

You're eligible in this way if you:

  • are aged 60 or over
  • maximise your stake using your full house sale proceeds
  • show you have a need to move

Joint applications may be eligible if only one of the applicants is aged 60 or over.

Maximising your stake

If you're over 60 and applying for the OMSE scheme, you have to take the biggest stake possible. This means if you're selling an existing home, you have to contribute the full proceeds from your sale (minus expenses) to your new home.

If you can raise the price of the home by selling your current home and using 90% of your savings above a £5000 threshold, you aren't eligible for OMSE.

Need to move

To get priority when applying for the OMSE scheme you have to be able to show you need to move. This means you have to show that either:

  • your home is too large and you need to downsize (this is called 'under occupation')
  • your home isn't suitable to meet your needs any more (for example, if you can't manage the stairs)
  • you need to move closer to family or friends who can provide care and support
Shared equity for older people
Open Market Shared Equity