The not for profit organisation will move to an online application process which can be completed directly by the prospective purchaser or by a mortgage adviser on their behalf.


It has also been rebranded and now offers a solicitors’ portal which enables solicitors to receive their Co-Ownership instructions electronically and guides them through the homebuying process.


Homebuyers can now apply and 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.


Mark Graham, chief executive of Co-Ownership, said: “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.”