/ Author: SPF

Partial ownership schemes provide significant benefits to the long-term health of the housing market, according to SPF managing director Pierre Blampied. 

SPF has been supporting the Guernsey Housing Association (GHA) in its analysis of applicants for a partial ownership scheme. The research concluded that of the GHA’s last 18 applicants, none could have afforded to buy in the private market, demonstrating that the scheme is fit for purpose and provides significant benefit to lower income households keen to become homeowners.

‘It’s been an interesting exercise. Not a single one of the applicants we reviewed would have been able to buy property on the private market, contradicting the criticism from some estate agents that the GHA’s partial ownership scheme is taking people away from the private market,’ said Pierre when interviewed on BBC Radio Guernsey.

‘It shows that the GHA is doing the right checks and the right people are qualifying for the scheme.’

The GHA’s partial ownership scheme offers a realistic alternative to those islanders unable to buy property on the private market. Partial homeowners buy a percentage of the property, between 40% and 80% of the home, from the GHA.  The remainder of the value (equity) of the home is held by the GHA and a discounted rent is charged.

Pierre worked with Swoffers director Spencer Noyon on the analysis and confirmed that none of the households reviewed could currently obtain a sufficient mortgage, making them ideal candidates for partial ownership.

GHA Chief Executive GHA Steve Williams said, ‘We are grateful to both Spencer and Pierre for providing us with their independent, professional assessment of our waiting list applications and assisting us in clarifying that our partial ownership scheme isn’t taking first time buyers away from the market but providing an alternative route to homeownership in Guernsey.

‘We are aware that private market prices have steadily decreased, however this data shows that many lower income families still aren’t in a position to buy on the private market. The scheme is however facilitating sales, we have seen 20 families sell back to the GHA over the last three years as they have been able to use the equity they have built up to then go and buy a property in the private market.’

The GHA is an independent not-for-profit company that works in partnership with the States to deliver social housing as part of their Corporate Housing Programme.