The ‘Home Stepper’ model makes homes available as shared ownership ’according to demand rather than Section 106’

Housebuilder Vistry has exchanged contracts with affordable housing provider Sage Homes to deliver around 800 shared ownership homes nationally with a value of £250m.

The agreement means Vistry will be one of the first homebuilders to deliver Sage’s new Home Stepper shared ownership model.

Sage is a for-profit provider of affordable housing owned by private equity firm Blackstone and Regis. 

Westwood Point The Wyatt

Westwood Point, The Wyatt: one of the Home Stepper sites from

Home Stepper means buyers looking at Vistry homes across the UK will be offered the option of buying a share in homes they can’t buy outright. Sage will operate as the landlord on the portion that they don’t own.

The new shared ownership system is not part of the system of Section 106 which by law requires developers to offer a percentage of affordable housing.

Usually, local authority planning agreements under Section 106 decide where shared ownership housing is provided and how much there is per development.

Home Stepper instead responds to demand for affordable housing. If the buyer can’t afford a new-build house at the full market price, a developer can offer it as shared ownership housing.

Home Stepper is open to customers whose combined household income is no greater than £80,000 outside London, or £90,000 inside London.

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“We have a long track record of working in partnership with Sage Homes to deliver affordable homes and to realise the house buying dreams of thousands of customers, and this is the latest exciting chapter in that relationship,” Greg Fitzgerald, Vistry Group chief executive, said in a statement.

“As the leading provider of mixed-tenure affordable homes in the country, we are acutely aware that the ability of people to access the housing market is crucial to our economy and society, and we are proud of the part we are playing in that.

“We look forward to building many more homes and delivering many more dreams in partnership with Sage Homes through this Home Stepper scheme.”

Iain McPherson, chief operating officer at Sage Homes, said: “We’ve been able to deliver almost 12,000 affordable homes in just over five years by working closely with our partners, so I’m delighted to take this further by introducing Home Stepper.

“Our new Home Stepper scheme aims to make the Shared Ownership product available in more locations to more aspiring homeowners looking for attractive and high-quality homes to call their own.”

Sage delivered 1,305 new shared ownership homes and 2,116 new affordable rent homes in 2021 to 2022.

Vistry expects to make in excess of £450m profit this financial year