60% Of Young People Unaware Of Shared Ownership
Owning a property without acquiring the help from either loved ones or governmental schemes is now extremely difficult. Ownership has become all the more unattainable because of rising property prices and relatively low wages that have not always increased with inflation.
Younger aspirational buyers have therefore relied more heavily on schemes like Help to Buy, that offer financial support, or Shared Ownership, that allows a buyer to purchase a percentage of the property and rent the rest.
Whilst this is such an attractive option for young buyers, a recent survey, by YouGov that was commissioned by Leeds Building Society, has found that only 40% of 18- to 24-year-olds are even aware that Shared Ownership exists.
Of this section of the age group, 20% were completely unaware of what Shared Ownership actually meant. More than anything, this report highlights the Government’s perceived failure in educating the demographic that could benefit most from the scheme.
As the age brackets increased, so did their understanding of shared ownership. 70% of those aged between 20 and 34-years had a level of understanding; this rose to 83% of people aged over 50-years-old.
Jaedon Green, Director of Product and Distribution at Leeds Building Society, said: “Shared ownership as a method of purchasing has been around since the 1970s and offers a realistic way of getting onto the property ladder. It’s a proven formula that helps people secure a home, even where a traditional mortgage is not affordable, and its longevity is testament to its success.
“The method is becoming increasingly popular for first time buyers as it reduces the need for a significant deposit, which can be difficult for some to manage. The scheme also permits first time buyers to combine it with a Lifetime ISA, maximising any deposit.
“However, awareness still needs to be raised about the benefits of shared ownership, as it continues to be misunderstood and underused by many of the people the scheme was designed to help, particularly those aged 18 to 24.
“The fact that almost a quarter of those aged 24 or under would be likely to use shared ownership once they found out how it worked shows the importance of increasing awareness and educating those who would benefit most from shared ownership.”
Having gained an understanding of shared ownership, over a quarter (26%) of people under the age of 24-years insist that it is ‘very likely’ they will use the initiative in the future. Education to the right section of society could help to increase the uptake of and decrease the burden on the housing sector.
What should be done to make this age group more aware of the housing options available to them?