First Homes Cardiff

Information about applying for a property

The First Homes Cardiff scheme helps first-time buyers to buy a shared equity home instead of buying a property on the open market, which can be more difficult and expensive.

Shared Equity allows you to buy 100% of a property for a percentage of its open market value, typically, this is 70%. Unlike shared ownership, there is no rent to pay on the remaining 30% cost of the property.  The remaining 30% share is set as a legal charge against the property, which you can often purchase at a later date.

If you decide to sell your property you will need to sell it through the scheme in the same way that you bought your property. This helps other first-time buyers to get a home of their own.

If we cannot find a purchaser for your property from our waiting list, for most of our properties you can sell it on the open market.  The sale price will be split according to the relevant percentages. If the split is 70% and 30%, you as the owner will get 70% of the sale price and the remaining 30% is paid to the Council (or in some cases a Housing Association).

If you choose to either buy the remaining equity share or sell your property, the valuation will be determined by an independent RICS qualified valuer. On sale completion, you will receive 70% of the market value to use to pay off your mortgage. However, these options are not available to anyone who purchases a Cardiff Living property.

As the purchaser of a shared equity property and the registered owner when your purchase completes, you will have all the rights and responsibilities of a homeowner.

The scheme aims to help first time buyers who live or work in Cardiff and are finding it difficult to get onto the property ladder. However, consideration is also given to those who have previously been homeowners but are now looking to buy a property in their own right following a relationship breakdown.

Those that qualify for Cardiff Council’s First Homes Cardiff Scheme must be:

  • Over the age of 18
  • A current passport holder or have ‘Indefinite Leave to remain’ stamped on their passport. Applicants without indefinite leave to remain who are interested in buying a home must be able to demonstrate the ability to secure a mortgage with a reputable lender
  • A first time buyer/not a current home owner
  • Living and / or working in Cardiff for the last six months; or are a keyworker moving to Cardiff for a job *
  • Able to meet the long-term financial commitment of home ownership
  • A first time buyer ‘in your own right’.  (People that fall into this category would be applicants that have jointly owned a property and as a result of a relationship breakdown no longer own a property)
  • People that are leaving the Armed Forces are eligible for the scheme if they have lived in Cardiff for at least six months immediately prior to joining the Forces
  • People who are moving back to Cardiff for personal or professional reasons and have an established local connection
  • People whose financial and/or individual circumstances do not enable them to buy a similar property in the area on the open market

In addition, you must use the property as your only home, and we must be satisfied that your financial or individual circumstances do not enable you to buy a similar property in the area on the open market. For affordable housing tenants, you must not be in rent arrears or in breach of a tenancy agreement.

The properties are in many areas across the city and range from one-bedroom apartments to three-bedroom houses.  We have also sold a small number of 4-bedroom properties through the scheme, although this is unusual.  Most of the properties are on new build sites with private housebuilders, but we also sell pre-owned homes, which we refer to as resale properties.  This is when an owner who originally bought a property through our scheme, decides to sell on.

If you fit the eligibility criteria and are interested in purchasing a property through our scheme, you will need to register to the First Homes Cardiff scheme online.

Once you have registered, you will start to receive email notifications when we advertise properties that match your requirements.

You should email the First Homes Cardiff Team to request an application pack before the deadline date. If it is a resale property, you will also need to make an appointment to view it. Often there are specific dates for viewings. If the property is on a new build site though, viewings may not be possible, as the properties may not yet be built. However, the developer sales team will be able to advise you.

You should remember that if the market value of the property falls into a Land Transaction Tax band (also known as Stamp Duty), you will be required to pay the full amount of Land Transaction Tax on the full market value of the property.

You can find out if you need to pay this charge by visiting the Welsh Government calculator.

You will need to fill out the application form that is sent to you. You will be asked to provide evidence of your residence, employment, salary, and savings.

Most importantly you will need a Mortgage in Principle Certificate from your proposed mortgage provider.  A Mortgage Certificate may also be referred to as a Decision in Principle or an Agreement in Principle.  You can contact us if you’d like a list of known lenders who support the scheme.

When you have completed and signed your application form and collated your evidence, you must email it all to firsthomescardiff@cardiff.gov.uk

Fully completed applications will be assessed in date order of receipt.

If your application is successful, you’ll be asked to put your finances in place to obtain a formal mortgage offer and to appoint a solicitor to start the process of buying your home.

If you would like further information, you can contact us online or by calling 07866 370 394.

See also

How to register | Terms and conditions | Guide to buying a home