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Shared ownership slowdown

Thursday 28 September 2017

Shared ownership transactions appear to have decreased in recent months – raising questions over whether more needs to be done to ‘sell’ the idea of shared ownership to home buyers.

New research by MyHomeMove has revealed that only 11 per cent of first-time buyers would prefer to purchase a shared ownership property rather than buy outright (80 per cent) - and perhaps more worryingly, 30 per cent of aspiring first time buyers admitted to not fully understanding what shared ownership actually is.

Shared ownership transactions across England and Wales have decreased throughout the majority of regions, despite numerous pledges from the Government to increase access to housing for Britain’s aspiring home buyers.

Having analysed nearly 50,000 mover transactions over the past year (2016 – 2017) My Home Move discovered that shared ownership activity has decreased across 7 out of 9 regions - including London, the Home Counties, North East, South East, Wales, West Midlands and Yorkshire – leaving the UK’s leading provider of mover conveyancing services to question whether more needs to be done to increase the popularity of shared ownership among home buyers, as it currently accounts for less than one per cent of housing stock across England and Wales.

Commenting on the findings Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move said:

“Last February the Government pledged to fix Britain’s broken housing market, and yet one of the schemes designed to encourage home ownership is falling in popularity. Our research highlights just how small transactional volumes for shared ownership are, raising questions as to whether the scheme needs to change its image to attract new home buyers.

“It’s our belief that home buyers, despite the lack of housing stock, are turned off by phrases like ‘affordable housing’, which is often used to describe ‘shared ownership’. Yes, they want to be able to afford their home, but they want to buy a dream. The idea of buying a home that has been built to fulfill a quota, or is being sold through a housing association and so has the negative connotations of social housing attached to it, is just too much for some. Perhaps we need to ‘rebrand’ the image of shared ownership, to bring it in line with initiatives like the Government’s Help to Buy, to make it more attractive to first time-buyers.”

“With these findings in mind, we think there is a missed opportunity for those involved in shared ownership schemes, to educate aspiring first-time buyers better. Shared ownership can offer those trapped as ‘generation renters’ a real possibility of getting onto the property ladder, but it’s all a question of selling them the dream and maybe it’s time to find out what would make aspiring first-time buyers change their mind.”