Back to

Rising number of shared ownership buyers moving away from new build homes

More first time buyers using shared ownership are buying existing properties rather than relying on new build, and are also securing larger shares in their homes, according to new data.

Where people taking their first step onto the property ladder might once have considered using shared ownership to secure a new build, increasing numbers are opting for shared ownership properties that have had previous owners, according to our research.

Shared ownership plays an important role in putting home ownership within reach of more people and this data highlights how it's not just new builds that are an option.

In 2019, 16% of all buyers taking a shared ownership product with the Society bought an existing property, by 2020 that had risen to 25%. The Society remained in shared ownership lending throughout the pandemic and in the first six months of this year the data shows a very similar pattern emerging to that seen in 2020, with 24% in Q1 and 25% in Q2 buying homes that are not new build.

The percentage purchasing a share of 50% or more has risen from 24% in 2019 to 37% in the first six months of 2021, according to the figures.

“Typically shared ownership is popular with first time buyers because they require a smaller deposit to purchase a share of a home,” says Martese Carton, Head of Intermediary Distribution at Leeds Building Society. “Saving for a deposit is consistently stated as one of the biggest hurdles first time buyers face when trying to secure their dream home.

“We believe our data findings highlight a lack of supply of shared ownership properties. Affordable housing schemes like shared ownership have the potential to help many more first time buyers less well served by the wider market.

“This data also shows the scheme is providing an important stepping stone in the housing market, with existing shared ownership properties available because previous buyers have been able to move on into the mainstream housing market.

“Affordable housing schemes like shared ownership have the potential to help many more aspiring homeowners get a foot on the property ladder,” added Martese.

Shared ownership enables people to purchase an initial share of a property, reducing the size of the deposit needed. They pay rent to a landlord, usually a housing association, on the remaining share and can choose to buy further shares later if they wish.

As a leading shared ownership lender[1], we've been looking at data as part of a series of research, insight and polls, exploring how people’s attitudes to their homes, behaviour and preferences have changed since the start of the pandemic[2].


[1] The Society won the title of Best Shared Ownership Mortgage Lender in the 2021 What Mortgage Awards, its sixth consecutive year of success in this category.

[2] Research based on Leeds Building Society Shared Ownership lending between 2019 and 2021

Please note: