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Housing to buy

We know that many people who live or work in the district, even those who earn a reasonable income can find it difficult to buy a home. We work with a range of registered providers (sometimes known as housing associations) to help get people onto the property ladder.  This is achieved through a range of Help to Buy Schemes.

More details can be found on the government's own your home website (opens new window).

Shared ownership

If you are struggling to save a large deposit or obtain a mortgage for the full value of a property, then Shared Ownership may be an appropriate scheme for you. It allows you to buy a percentage of your home whilst renting the remaining share.  The minimum share you can purchase is 10%, with a maximum of up to 75%. Over time you can, if you wish, increase the amount of the share you own, and your rent will decrease proportionally.

Your gross household income cannot exceed £80,000.

In April 2021 a new model of Shared Ownership was introduced which gives a greater benefit to owners.  Some properties, particularly those which are being re-sold, may be on the old scheme so its important to check which model you are applying for.

From April 1, 2023, you will no longer need to be registered with the Help to Buy Agent for your region, you will need to contact the registered provider who will confirm your eligibility for a scheme.  Each provider will have a list of properties available (some of which may be re-sales from previous schemes)

We have a number of schemes that are delivering shared ownership, please contact the registered provider directly if you are interested in purchasing on one of these sites.

Sites available

Registered provider

The Yews, Tangmere

Abri Homes (opens new window)

Minerva Heights, Chichester

Vivid Homes (opens new window)

Plaistow Road, Kirdford

Vivid Homes (opens new window)

Cathedral Park, Bognor Road

Aster Homes (opens new window)

Shopwyke Lakes, Oving

Aster Homes (opens new window)

New Fields Estate, Oving

Aster Homes (opens new window)

The Spires, Westhampnett

Aster Homes (opens new window)

Dawtrey Road, Petworth

Aster Homes (opens new window)

Rosebriar Copse, Chidham

Aster Homes (opens new window)

Park Farm, Selsey

Sage homes (opens new window)

Other providers who may have affordable homes for sale are:

First Homes Scheme

First Homes is a new discounted scheme designed to help local first-time buyers onto the property ladder. The Scheme offers homes with a discount of at least 30% compared to the market price. To qualify your household income cannot exceed £80,000 and you will need to have a mortgage for at least 50% of the discounted price.

Once brought, a restriction is registered on the title deed. This makes sure the same level of discount is passed on at each subsequent sale.

After the discount has been applied the initial sale price must not exceed £250,000.

The discounts will apply to the homes forever. This means that generations of new buyers and the local community will continue to benefit every time the property is sold.

Buying a first home

A detailed process must be followed when purchasing a first home and Chichester District Council is required to check the eligibility of the potential purchaser and issue an approval to proceed and the final compliance certificate.

Please contact firsthomes@chichester.gov.uk for:

  • all applications and enquires;
  • if you are looking to resell your first home; or,
  • seek consent to temporarily rent

Pay a first homes compliance fee

Frequently asked questions

Q: How do I know if I am eligible for a First Home?

A: To be eligible to apply you must;

  • be a first-time buyer
  • have a household income of no more than £80,000
  • have a mortgage or home purchase plan (if required by Islamic law) to fund at least 50% of the discounted sale price

Chichester District Council have implemented local eligibility criteria to ensure that these discounted homes go to local people. You will also need to meet one of the following:

  • be a permanent resident within Chichester District; or
  • used to live within the district but had to move away; or
  • employed within the district; or
  • is the parent, sibling, or child of a living and permanent resident of the district

Q: Is there an age limit to apply for a First Home?

A: If you meet the above criteria there is no age limit, but there may be limitations when applying for a mortgage.

Q: I am looking to buy a First Home with my partner, do we both have to meet the local connection criteria?

 A. If you are buying this home with a partner only one of you needs to meet the local connection criteria but both of you will need to meet the national criteria.

 Q: How do I apply?

 A: In the first instance you will need to get an application form from the developer/seller of the home you want to buy. Once completed this form is sent to the Chichester Council where we will approve the application and issue the buyer with a certificate to proceed. We must do this within 5 working days.

Q: What happens next?

 A: Once you are approved you will need to secure your mortgage offer, one this is completed you must seek an Approval to Exchange from us. We will then issue a Certificate of Compliance.

You then have 3 months to exchange contracts. You (or your conveyancer) will need to inform us of the completion date.

 Q: Can I let my property once I have purchased it?

 A: You can let your First Home out for up to a period of 2 years, allowing you to respond to changes in circumstances, but you must seek approval from the Chichester Council before you do so. In exceptional circumstances you may be able to let your home out for longer than the 2-year period, these include:

  •  For a short job posting elsewhere
  •  For deployment elsewhere (Armed Forces)
  •  In relationship breakdown
  •  Fleeing domestic violence
  •  Redundancy
  •  Caring for a relative or friend

Q: Can I have a lodger?

A: Yes, and there are no time limitations on doing so.

Q: Should I pay buildings insurance in relation to the discounted price of the home, or the full price?

A: Buildings insurance should cover the full market price of the home.

Q: Can I make improvements to my home?

A: If your First Home is a house, you can make any improvements you wish to your home subject to planning regulations and your mortgage agreement. But you should bear in mind that you may not recoup your investment when you decide to sell your First Home as the original percentage discount you received at purchase must be passed on to the next buyer.

If you own a First Home flat, you will be able to make improvements subject to the conditions of your lease, planning regulations and your mortgage agreement.

Discounted purchase and shared equity

There are small numbers of homes, in Chichester, Tangmere and Selsey, for people with a local connection to buy at a discounted rate.

A local connection includes:

  • living or working here;
  • having close family here; or, 
  • having previously lived in the district but forced to move away because of a lack of affordable housing.

These properties must be sold on, at the same percentage discount, to other local people.

With shared equity you buy all the home at a reduced percentage of the market value. The balancing percentage is kept by the developer, by a legal charge on the property. Unlike shared ownership, no rent is paid.  You can buy out the developer's interest if you wish, so your home is then free of any developer's ties. If you don't, and you sell, you will pay back this balancing percentage from the equity in the property. There are shared equity homes in Chidham and Lavant.

The council is not involved in the resales of these properties, except for approving new purchasers, as they are advertised privately.