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The new way to buy a home with just a 5% deposit

Unmortgage to help aspiring homeowners buy the type of home they need, in a location they love, with just a 5% deposit. We’ve asked Unmortgage to tell us more about who they are, and their plans to help people settle into a home of their own in a brand-new way.

Aspiring homeowners are still unable to take their first step on to the property ladder, with many finding homeownership completely out of reach. In 1990, it took just two years to save for a mortgage deposit. Now, it can take closer to 20.

While schemes like Help to Buy and Shared Ownership are helping some, there’s still a lack of choice. And the options available can seem few and far between for people in search of their first home.

Unmortgage was borne out of a frustration with the rental market. We’re determined to open up homeownership to countless reluctant renters who want to live in a place they can truly call their own.

And to help people get there, we’ll be providing a brand-new way to buy a home, through what we call ‘gradual homeownership’. In short, they buy the bits they can afford to, and the rest when they want to or can.

To help explain how gradual homeownership works, we’ve answered some of the main questions that we get asked by aspiring homeowners.

How does gradual homeownership work?

It’s a part-buy, part-rent system. They buy at least 5% of the home, without a mortgage or any debt, and then pay rent on the rest at a fair-market price.

From day one, they treat it like home. Painting the walls, hanging up their favourite pictures and getting their pets settled in.

It sounds similar to Shared Ownership. How is buying a home through Unmortgage any different?

When it comes to the finer details, we’re actually very different:

Shared Ownership Unmortgage
Usually only new builds Older properties with established value
High service fees and charges No, or low, service fees and charges
Difficult to buy more of (each time you need a new mortgage) Easy to buy more of (everything you pay above rent goes towards your ownership)
Expensive to buy more of (each time you need a solicitor) Easy to buy more of (from as little as £1 with no fees)
Difficult to sell Easy to sell and move on if you want


And while Shared Ownership schemes might be better for some, we want to help people who can’t find a Shared Ownership scheme that works for them.

Who’s eligible to buy a home with Unmortgage?

Before we start looking for homes together, you’ll need to have a minimum 5% deposit (equivalent to at least £12,500), and a household income of at least £30,000 (before tax).

When we start working together to find your new home, we’ll carry out some basic checks on things like your credit score or bankruptcy. We do this because we want to be sure we’re always matching people with homes they can one day afford to buy outright.

What kind of homes will people be able buy with Unmortgage’s help?

We want to buy houses that make great homes. But we also want to make sure they’re a good investment in the long run.

The homes we help people to buy should:

  • be in quiet, urban areas,
  • be in good structural condition, and have no foundation problems,
  • not be the cheapest nor the most expensive home,
  • be private houses or flats,
  • be ready to move in to immediately with no repairs or remedial work,
  • be freehold, share-of-freehold, or leasehold with a 100+ year lease,
  • have 2-5 nicely sized bedrooms,
  • be a main residence and not a buy-to-let.

We wouldn’t help to buy:

  • homes on main roads, motorways, or that back onto railway lines,
  • homes with unfairly sized bedrooms,
  • basement flats, flats above commercial property, and ex-social housing,
  • new-builds.

Where does Unmortgage get its money from to help buy homes?

We’ve partnered with Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI), one of the world’s biggest investment managers, who will support us in buying homes.

Our partnership means we’ll help people to find and make homes of their own, while also helping AllianzGI to invest in the residential property market for the long-term.

What kind of properties might I be able to afford through Unmortgage?

For a lot of aspiring home buyers, standard mortgage products might only offer a combined household income multiple of between 3 to 4 times that figure.

Whereas with Unmortgage, together with our funding partners, we’re going to help people buy homes that could be between 5 to 8 times their combined household income. Helping to make it possible for people to live in an area they love and avoid the prospect of moving to an area they don’t know or isn’t right for them.

For more information, visit to try our homebuying budget calculator, or read our full FAQs.


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