Shared-ownership homes have become a lifeline for families shut out of London’s pricey property market.

Nearly 70 per cent of applicants for shared ownership homes since January have been families, while 20 per cent were couples, according to exclusive data from the search website Share to Buy.

The under-provision of family homes in the capital is a problem spanning 60 years.

Residential towers became a popular solution as London was rebuilt after the Second World War.

This trend continued, and in the housing booms before and after the 2008 financial crisis, studios, starter pads and luxury apartments dominated the development landscape.

The lack of new homes with three or more bedrooms and back gardens, pushed up prices of the typical Victorian terrace, putting them out of reach for many families.

This has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

New data from the Land Registry shows that the price of the average detached house in London has rose 10 per cent this spring and summer to £971,142, as those who could afford to upsized their homes after the lockdown.

The cost of a semi-detached house climbed 5.6 per cent to £602,377 and the price tag of a terrace has increased 4.3 per cent to £511,058.

It’s hardly surprising that more families, eager to stay in London, are turning to shared ownership — the affordable housing scheme introduced in the 1970s that allows a buyer to purchase a 25 to 75 per cent stake of a property with a housing association.

The homeowner only needs a five per cent deposit of their share on which they pay a mortgage, and rent the rest. The idea is that they buy more of the property over time.

Gradually, local councils and planners have recognised the importance of housing families in the capital and mixed-use developments are rising out of disused brownfield land — particularly in travel zones three to six and along the banks of the Thames and canal networks.

These schemes include homes for private sale, shared ownership homes and social housing as well as community amenities, parkland and gardens and, in some cases, new schools.

Barking Riverside is one such example. When complete the new mini town will deliver 10,800 homes along a stretch of the Thames on the site of two former power stations, with shops, restaurants, sports facilities, health centres and 11 schools.


First steps: Theo Jones, Jade Henry and baby Nyla got on the housing ladder at Parkside, Barking Riverside by L&Q (Hakan Yazici)

Jade Henry and Theo Jones have bought a two-bedroom apartment with a balcony in the Parkside neighbourhood at Barking Riverside, built by L&Q.

Henry, a stay-at-home mother, and Jones, a sports marketing executive, were renting a one- bedroom flat in the Royal Docks but needed to find a permanent place to call home with their baby Nyla.

“We thought we were going to have to leave London to get on the property ladder when we discovered shared ownership,” says Henry. “We realised it was the only financially viable way we could afford to buy in the capital.”

The couple bought a 25 per cent share worth £80,000 of a £320,000 flat. Their monthly rent is £726, monthly service charge is £161 and the monthly mortgage cost is £235. In total that’s £1,122 on housing costs per month. The average rent in London (not including service charge) is £1,755, according to Hamptons International.

Larger homes can be found at the Greenway development in Beckton.

The shared ownership complex, by housing association-cum-developer Peabody, has three-bedroom homes with private or communal gardens.

There are good and outstanding schools on the doorstep, including Vicarage and Brampton primaries, and Newham City Farm is nearby. The homes are being built next to Beckton District Park which has a playground, lake and sports facilities. Visit

The cost of three-bedroom shared ownership homes

  • Average full market value price: £541,295
  • Average five per cent deposit of a SO home: £6,766.19 (based on a 25 per cent share)
  • Average 10 per cent deposit of a SO home: £13,532.38 (based on a 25 per cent share)

The cost of four-bedroom shared ownership homes

  • Average full market value price: £608,250
  • Average five per cent deposit of a SO home: £7,603.13 (based on a 25 per cent share)
  • Average 10 per cent deposit of a SO home: £15,206.25 (based on a 25 per cent share)

Source: Share to Buy

‘The boys love it here – we have so much space’


Room for improvement: Townhouses at Stonelea Gardens are spacious and the scheme sits between the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Hackney Marshes and Walthamstow (Simon Harvey)

Luisa Tatoli moved from Islington to Leyton during the lockdown with her sons Ferederico, 16, and Matteo, 15, in search of more space.

She purchased a 30 per cent share of a three-bedroom townhouse in Peabody’s Stonelea Gardens, which has given the Italian-born mum a brand new and bigger kitchen to indulge her passion for cooking.

Luisa works from home and could experiment with setting up in different parts of the house to see where suited her best.

The scheme sits between the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Hackney Marshes and the funky streets of Walthamstow.

“The boys initially had reservations about moving away from Islington, as they felt they would be losing out from being in such a central location,” says Luisa. “But after being here for one day, they loved it. We have so much space.”

All the townhouses are sold, but one-bedroom apartments are still available, with a 30 per cent stake costing £94,500. Go to

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