Loan: Third of FTBs unaware of Shared Ownership Scheme: Leeds BS

A third of first-time buyers are unaware of the Shared Ownership Scheme, which could help them get on the housing ladder sooner and with a smaller deposit, research from Leeds Building Society reveals.

The survey of 4,006 adults in October showed that 35% of first-time buyers had never heard of shared ownership and that 19% of those who had purchased recently used the scheme.

Of those who are planning to buy a home, only 13% of first-time buyers are planning to use it to help them buy.

Respondents who didn’t want to use shared ownership said the main reasons were based on perceptions about the scheme.

Nearly a third of first-time buyers (28%) believe that a shared ownership mortgage would be more expensive than a traditional deal and around one in five (19%) think that it’s too complicated while 17% believe it ‘isn’t for people like them’.

More than three-quarters (77%) of those who bought a shared ownership property said they didn’t need to save as much for their deposit and j72% said it got them on the ladder sooner than if they’d used a standard mortgage.

For those who used shared ownership, 57% said there was a good range of properties available where they wanted to live while 74% were happy with the property they were able to buy.

Two-thirds said buying through shared ownership saved them money compared to where they lived before, and 74% would recommend it to others looking to buy their first home.

Once all respondents who had not heard of the Shared Ownership Scheme were told about what it is, 41% said it would either help them get on the ladder in future while 6% it could have if they’d known about it sooner.

However, 18% heard about shared ownership through word of mouth, 3.4% found out about the scheme through a mortgage broker, 4% from their bank or building society, and 6% from an estate agent.

Leeds Building Society chief executive Richard Fearon comments: “There is a clear lack of awareness of Shared Ownership among the UK’s first-time buyers – this needs to change. It’s more expensive than ever to buy a first home and it’s evident that many savers still view a traditional mortgage as the way to get their first set of keys.”

“As an industry, we need to educate people about the benefits the scheme can bring and take responsibility for helping more people to get on the housing ladder.”

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