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First time buyer couples increasingly turning to Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership mortgages are becoming increasingly popular with couples as a way to step onto the property ladder, new data from Leeds Building Society reveals.

First time buyers made up 89% of the Society’s Shared Ownership borrowers in 2018, with an increased demand from couples entering the property market.

In 2008, single buyers made up 55% of the Society’s Shared Ownership new borrowers, with couples representing 45%. A decade later, mortgages with more than one borrower now account for 65% of Leeds Building Society’s Shared Ownership customers, while single people make up 35%.

Shared Ownership enables people to purchase part of a property initially and pay rent to a landlord, usually a housing association, on the remaining share. If they wish, borrowers can then purchase further shares as and when they can afford to.

Matt Bartle, Director of Products at Leeds Building Society, said: “Shared Ownership as a method of purchasing has been around for 40 years and offers a different way of getting onto the property ladder. It’s a proven approach that helps people secure a home, even where a traditional mortgage is not an option, and the initiative’s longevity is testament to its success.

“At Leeds Building Society we’ve been supporting Shared Ownership for more than 30 years and are committed to helping those less well served by the wider mortgage market.

“The method is popular with first time buyers as it can reduce the size of deposit required, which can be a major barrier for many people. A deposit is required only on the share of the property being purchased, providing greater flexibility and reducing the time it takes to save for a deposit.

“We have seen changes in the customer demographic using Shared Ownership in the last 10 years, with couples looking for their first home now making up the majority of our new borrowers.”

While more couples are turning to Shared Ownership as a way to enter the property market the age at which these borrowers take out a mortgage has remained steady over the past decade, increasing slightly from 30 to 31.


Leeds Building Society won the title of Best Shared Ownership Mortgage Lender in the 2019 What Mortgage Awards, its fourth consecutive year of success in this category. It also was named Best Lender for Later Life Lending in the Legal & General Mortgage Club Awards 2019.

The Society operates throughout the UK and in Gibraltar and had assets of £20.7bn at 30 June 2019 (£19.4bn at 30 June 2018). The UK’s fifth-largest mutual is a Best Companies 2* employer and its head office is in the centre of Leeds, where it has been based since 1886.

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