Guide

Shared equity for older people
Last updated: 23 May 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.

There is no requirement to take out a mortgage. Proceeds from a house sale, savings or a combination of both can be used to pay for your share.

You may be eligible for the sc heme if you:

  • are aged 60 or over
  • maximise your stake using your full house sale proceeds, savings or a combination of both
  • 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.

If you can raise the price of the home by 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. For example:

  • 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

Help to Buy (Scotland) schemes

If you want to buy a new build home but can't afford the total cost, you might be able to get help through the Help to Buy (Scotland) schemes.

The schemes are open to first time buyers and existing homeowners, and help you with up to 15% of the purchase price of a new build home.

There are two types of Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme:

  • the Affordable New Build scheme
  • the Smaller Developer scheme

Both work in exactly the same way, and the agent who handles the schemes will tell you which one you'll be applying for depending on which home you want to buy.

Find out how to apply for the Help to Buy (Scotland) schemes.

Help to Buy for over-60s

People aged 60 or over have priority in the Help to Buy (Scotland) schemes.

While others have to take out a mortgage if they're buying a house through the schemes, over-60s don't have to do this.

If you do want to take out a mortgage, it doesn't have to be at least 25% of the purchase price like it does with other applicants.

You may be eligible for the scheme if you:

  • are aged 60 or over
  • maximise your stake using your full house sale proceeds, savings or both
  • 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 one of the Help to Buy (Scotland) schemes, 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 your savings, you aren't eligible to apply.

You may be able to keep some savings if you have other costs you must pay, for example care home costs for your spouse.

Need to move

To get priority when applying for a Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme you have to be able to show you need to move. For example:

  • 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

New Supply Shared Equity scheme

If you want to buy a new build home from a housing association or local council but can't afford the total cost, you might be able to get help through the New Supply Shared Equity (NSSE) scheme.

Through the NSSE scheme you'll be able to buy a new build home without having to fund its entire cost, and will receive assistance from the Scottish Government.

You'll pay for the biggest share – usually between 60% and 80% of the home's cost – and the Scottish Government will hold the remaining share under a 'shared equity agreement', which it will enter into with you.

Find out how to apply for the New Supply Shared Equity scheme.

NSSE for over-60s

Local councils and social landlords are encouraged to build housing that meets the needs of older people.

If you're aged 60 or over, you may be able to apply for a NSSE development. The minimum equity (share) of the cost you need to pay can be agreed on a case by case basis.

While others have to take out a mortgage if they're buying a house through the NSSE scheme, over-60s don't have to do this.

Instead, you can pay using just the proceeds from selling your existing home and your savings.

A recent example of this was the building of NSSE retirement homes in Paisley. Read the case study to see more about this.