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Rentplus, the leading provider of affordable rent-to-buy homes, and Winchester Housing Trust, are pleased to announce a new partnership to deliver affordable rent-to-buy houses in Hampshire for the first time. For Rentplus, the deal marks another big step in the journey to deliver its award winning affordable rent-to-buy homes in every English county.

The new partnership will offer an affordable pathway to homeownership for working families on low or middle incomes in the area  It benefits those unable to save the large deposits required to access other types of housing.

The average house price in Hampshire was £340,940 over the last year. The majority of sales in Hampshire were detached properties, selling for an average price of £519,308. Terraced properties sold for an average of £266,562, with semi-detached properties fetching £320,549.  This would mean the average 10% deposit would be >£32,000, excluding surveys, conveyancing and other fees.

Research has shown that two thirds of private renters have no savings at all, rendering the possibility of putting down even the 5% required for some shared ownership properties.  Purchasing remans beyond the reach for most first time buyers, largely key workers, living in private rented properties across the county.   

Rentplus’ affordable rent-to-buy model offers an accessible route to homeownership for ordinary working people unable to save for a deposit or access other forms of affordable home ownership.

Residents move into a brand new home without paying a penny in deposit and pay an affordable intermediate rent.  Leases run for a minimum of 5 years (up to 20 years), giving residents time to clear debts, and save towards their deposit. At year 5, they have their first opportunity to purchase, at which point, Rentplus gifts them 10% of the purchase price towards their deposit.

Rentplus is funded by institutional investors, providing affordable rent-to-buy homes with no grant or public subsidy. Properties are managed by local housing associations, like Winchester Housing Trust, with 20-year operating leases.  Our partners benefit from having an extended tenure offer, and increased rental income from the homes.

Winchester Housing Trust and Rentplus are already in discussions with a number of local authorities and developers across the region to identify suitable homes to offer local people.

Steve Collins, Rentplus CEO, said: “Our new partnership will form the foundation of our ambitious plans for Hampshire and across the South. These much needed new homes will make a vital contribution to helping the area’s working families onto an affordable pathway to homeownership without the need for a deposit. 

“Affordability of housing is an issue across the country.  Rent-to-buy is an innovative model that gives local people the opportunity to fulfil their dreams of homeownership, while offering them the safety and security of a long-term tenure. We look forward to working with Winchester Housing Trust to make more of these dreams a reality in the region.” 

Winchester Housing Trust Chief Executive, Andrew Simpson, said: “We are delighted to be working with Rentplus to deliver Hampshire’s first affordable rent-to-buy homes.  We are committed to exploring innovative tenure models to complement our existing housing provision which offer a range of affordable housing options to meet local people’s housing needs and aspirations”. 

“We welcome our new partnership with Rentplus to manage their affordable rent-to-buy homes which we believe fits exactly with this ambition. We’re very pleased that we will be the first housing association in Hampshire to offer this innovative housing option. We look forward to working with Rentplus to deliver many affordable rent-to-buy homes across the county which in turn will enable Winchester Housing Trust to further our purpose to provide new affordable housing in rural communities within Hampshire.”

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