Shared ownership is set for growth, say lenders and housing associations at Just Mortgages new build event

As an affordable housing option, shared ownership is growing but it does not have enough consumer awareness and understanding.

This was one of the key messages that emerged from the inaugural New Build and Affordable Housing Event hosted by Just Mortgages.

Three panel sessions during took place during the event featuring housing associations, property providers and a range of shared ownership lenders. They all agreed that education is vital to raising awareness of shared ownership among first-time buyers but also previous homeowners.

Lenders speaking at the event and in the panel sessions included Barclays, Halifax, Nationwide, Santander, Leeds Building Society, Skipton Building Society, Kent Reliance and, new entrant to the shared ownership market, Kensington Mortgages.

Housing associations and property providers on the panel were from Sage Housing, SO resi Partnerships, NU Living and Swan Housing.

Shared ownership currently accounts for around 2% of housing stock but housing associations are building more of these homes. The government has pledged funding for up to 90,000 new shared ownership properties in the next five years.

It is also anticipated that more lenders will offer shared ownership mortgages and brokers should be prepared for a rise in enquiries. Just Mortgage has already seen a marked shift in the past year.

The Help to Buy (HTB) scheme is due to end in March 2023 and shared ownership is one option to fill the void. It enables people to get a toe on the housing ladder, especially for those who want to move away from rented accommodation.

There is a great deal of specialism in the affordable homes arena with options such as Deposit Unlock, private equity loan schemes, 95% LTV, the First Homes discount scheme as well as shared ownership. The panelists agreed that advice is key for home buyers and brokers have a key part to play in guiding them towards the most appropriate solution.

John Doughty, financial services director at Just Mortgages New Build Division, commented: “Lenders and brokers are getting less Help to Buy enquiries from customers as restrictions were introduced a year ago and the scheme nears the end of its shelf life. Instead, we are talking to more people wanting to know if they are eligible for shared ownership.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the lenders, housing associations, property providers and developers for their participation in our event during what was a thought-provoking and successful day.”