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July 2007 Making second homes more environmentally friendly

| collaborative consumption, fractional ownership, Press, Property | October 10, 2012

Innovative website yours2share goes live this week, with a service to help property owners make better use of their assets. yours2share believes that second homes can be more environmentally friendly and more acceptable to the local community if they are used more efficiently.

Even if people can afford the country manor house, which they only use for occasional weekends, they often find this a lavish waste of resources that pricks their environmental, social and moral consciences.

Second home owners face two dilemmas. Firstly people want to own property in areas of great natural beauty, but building in these areas can make them less beautiful and put extra strain on the environment. Secondly, people like to have property in vibrant communities with good bars, shops and restaurants. But if they leave a property idle for the majority of the time they are not contributing to local economy. In villages with many second home owners, shops and pubs often close down due to lack of trade. This isn’t good for the owners of the second home or the community. So second home owners often feel guilty, but they still want a property that feels exclusively their own.

One solution is fractional ownership: owning a share in a property with several other people. Most commercial schemes are highly exclusive and, if they offer the type of property the buyer is looking for, they are an ideal way to become a fractional owner. But only a few fractional schemes exist and most are for new developments so this doesn’t suit everyone’s taste and location requirements. However there is no reason why people can’t get together themselves to buy property.

People are often astonished at this idea, but boats and aircraft, frequently worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, have been shared for years. Boats and aircraft are inherently riskier to share than property: they can be flown or sailed away, but there are rarely problems with syndicates that have been set up properly. People have also been swapping properties for holidays for years without ever meeting the people who stay in their home. Swapping is now hugely successful.

The second instinctive reaction is “why share when I can afford to buy outright?” A budget of £250,000 buys a great holiday home, but some people might prefer a quarter share of £1 million pound property.

The key to sharing success is spending time ensuring that the partners are compatible. This is yours2share’s objective: matching like-minded partners to share any property in any location. The website provides tools and advice to help potential partners find each other and negotiate a suitable contract.

yours2share’s founder Sophie Garrett says “It’s not often that an environmentally and community-spirited choice enables greater luxury, but fractional ownership does just this.

Notes to Editors:

Fractional ownership: means that more than one person owns the title of a property or other valuable asset. Unlike timeshare, the owners collectively own the property title rather than just the right to use it. There are already several major fractional ownership property schemes; particularly in the USA and a few in the UK. Most schemes are highly exclusive and, if they offer the type of property the buyer is looking for, they are an ideal way to become a fra ctional owner. Before the launch of yours2share, there were few options for most potential fractional buyers.

Contact: Sophie Garrett on +44 (0)208 133 1234

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