"The outcome of the enhancements will be a much faster process for homebuyers, which will put them in a better position when bidding on a property"
Co-Ownership, Northern Ireland’s main provider of shared homeownership products, is marking 40 years in business with a series of digital enhancements.
As part of the changes, which will come into effect after the summer, Co-Ownership is moving to an online application process and is also changing how homebuyers can apply, allowing buyers to get an offer in principle before they find a property.
Previously homebuyers had to identify a property and agree their purchase before they could apply to Co-Ownership.
Co-Ownership is also launching a new brand image and launching a slicitors’ portal which enables solicitors to receive their Co-Ownership instructions electronically and guides them through the home buying process.
Co-Ownership offers two key products, Co-Own, the organisation’s flagship product, and Rent to Own, a pilot scheme which was introduced in 2017.
Mark Graham, CEO of Co-Ownership, commented: “We have taken on board feedback from customers and industry partners and are investing significantly to improve our services for them. We are delighted to announce these positive changes as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations.
“The outcome of the enhancements will be a much faster process for homebuyers, which will put them in a better position when bidding on a property, as they will be pre-approved and should be able to complete a purchase as quickly as any other kind of buyer.
“Co-Ownership has been an important part of Northern Ireland’s housing market for 40 years and the changes that we are making will ensure that it continues to be an important part of the market for many years to come."
Deborah Brown, housing director at the Department for Communities, which partly funds Co-Ownership, said: “With the support of Government, 27,000 people have been supported toward owning their own home through Co-ownership. This is a magnificent achievement. Housing is an essential enabler for such a wide range of economic and social outcomes. The Department looks forward to its continued partnership working with Co-Ownership to help many more households fulfil their aspirations of homeownership.”