More buyers using shared ownership to bridge deposit gap
Aspiring homeowners are turning to shared ownership to get onto the housing ladder, according to the latest figures from Leeds Building Society.
In July, the Society saw a record number of applications for this type of mortgage; while between June and August this year applications were more than one and a half times higher than the volumes seen in the same period in both 2019 and 2018.
“Many, faced with having to find large deposits, struggle to get a foot on the property ladder, but if more considered shared ownership, there is the potential to help many more buyers to have the home they want, says Matt Bartle, Director of Products at Leeds Building Society.
“It will be interesting to see if the trend we’ve observed during the summer months continues into autumn and winter and if choosing shared ownership products continues to gain in popularity among first time buyers.
“The Government has recently signalled its desire to widen the scope of the shared ownership scheme further so more homebuyers can benefit.
“We welcome new thinking and different approaches which can help buyers get onto the property ladder and we look forward to hearing more details about the new proposals in due course.”
Shared ownership is an established scheme which enables people to purchase a share of a property initially, 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 purchase further shares later should they wish.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the scheme Leeds Building Society commissioned a YouGov study which sought the views of housing associations about shared ownership.
Those surveyed said one of the main barriers to the further growth of the scheme was a lack of consumer knowledge or understanding of shared ownership and how it works.
Leeds Building Society won the title of Best Shared Ownership Mortgage Lender at the 2020 What Mortgage Awards for the fifth consecutive year.
 Qualitative research comprising 8 x 45-60 min depth interviews with senior staff in 8 housing associations across England was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Leeds Building Society.
Notes to Editors
The Society operates throughout the UK and had assets of £20.5bn at 30 June 2020 (£20.7bn at 30 June 2019). The UK’s fifth-largest mutual has its head office in the centre of Leeds, where it has been based since 1886.
The Society received a Gold Ribbon from Fairer Finance for savings accounts for the third year running, based on customer happiness and trust, along with the ability to explain things clearly.