Gradual Homeownership provider, Wayhome, has announced that it has made changes to its offering which effectively gives prospective first-time buyers who can comfortably afford to rent a home that’s worth up to ten times their income, the possibility to gradually buy it.
Tight lending stipulations mean that mortgage lenders will typically offer would-be first-time buyers approximately three and a half times their gross household income (Source: UK Finance, May 2021).
For a couple with a gross household income of £50,000 per year, this means they would be limited to a loan of £175,000. Assuming this couple could raise a £25,000 deposit, the most this couple could afford with a conventional mortgage is a property worth £200,000.
However, if the same couple were to use Wayhome’s Gradual Homeownership product, they could afford a property worth up to £500,000 without any increase to their deposit.
The firm is backed by institutional investors, like pension funds, which provide the funding to buy properties. Customers must purchase at least 5% of the home and then rent the proportion they don’t own, at a fair market price. Crucially, customers can staircase as often as they like, without any fees.
Nigel Purves, Chief Executive Officer at Wayhome, comments: “We are delighted to be able to give customers unprecedented access, today, to properties they simply couldn’t dream of buying with a mortgage.
“Gradual Homeownership is a truly unique product, and that is why we’re the first in the UK to be able to offer people homes worth up to ten times their income, with just a 5% deposit.
“And we can still do this in a 100% prudent, sustainable way – there’s no mortgage debt in Gradual Homeownership, and rental payments are not linked to interest rates, so there’s absolutely zero risk of negative equity for our customers.
“There is a cruel distortion at the heart of our housing market: a person or family might be able to comfortably afford the rent on a particular property - yet a lender decides they can’t afford to buy it. At Wayhome we’re changing this by helping people (gradually) buy the sort of home they could only otherwise afford to rent.”
“With house prices rising more than twice as quickly as wages, it's clear the affordability crisis within the UK housing market is only going to get worse. We hope that by offering a genuinely game-changing alternative, we can help thousands of more people get onto the ladder, in their ‘forever home’, today.”