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Increasing knowledge to maximise shared ownership opportunities – Just Mortgages

by: John Doughty, financial services director at Just Mortgages, New Build Division
  • 30/01/2023
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Increasing knowledge to maximise shared ownership opportunities – Just Mortgages
Among many things, 2022 was a transitional year with the winding down of the Help to Buy scheme. With affordability still clearly an issue for many buyers, brokers have been helping clients explore other low deposit schemes and incentives.

The clear front runner has been the shared ownership scheme, which really took off in 2022. In fact, we have had more connections regarding shared ownership in the second half of the year than in the previous five years. Even with the challenges ahead, we predict this will continue to be a key platform for buyers in 2023. 

After all, it gives buyers and renters the opportunity to get on the property ladder and achieve long-term stability. Not only are deposits generally lower, but the monthly payments can be lower than renting privately. Plus, there’s now greater regulation, more choice with both new and resale options and the scope to own more of the property in the future.  

This will be far more encouraging for those who were affected by the regional price caps of Help to Buy, which restricted the housing options available. This is especially true for those families and buyers that lived in and around London and faced limited availability. With greater options and higher value properties available through shared ownership, the scheme allows buyers to own part of something rather than nothing at all.  


Breaking the stigma

Speaking to our brokers across the country, one of the biggest challenges they faced with clients was a clear lack of knowledge and understanding surrounding the scheme and other new-build options. This can’t be solely blamed on first-time buyers new to the market either. Many shared ownership applicants were actually later in life, whether buying was something they never got round to or they were newly separated and getting back on the ladder as an individual.  

As more properties become available across the country and borrowers weigh up options in a challenging market, it’s important brokers continue to educate clients and break down any stigma surrounding the scheme. Whether it’s having to share the property with someone else, the process being harder to secure a shared ownership mortgage or the limited types of available properties, these are just some of the common misconceptions. 

For those brokers that have invested the time and effort into educating clients, the response has been very receptive. With greater clarity around the mechanics of the scheme and the variety of options available, borrowers have the knowledge and confidence to proceed. This will continue to be an important part of a broker’s role in the coming 12 months.  


Brokers remain best placed

While we expect external factors to still impact consumer confidence, we are starting to see positive signs that the market will pick back up as we head further into the year. Home ownership will still remain an aspiration, especially for first-time buyers who will be undeterred by the media hype. 

Thanks to shared ownership, but also newer schemes such as Deposit Unlock and the First Homes scheme, opportunities are still there for those looking to get their first start on the property ladder. With an understanding of the intricacies of new-build and all the relevant schemes, as well as connections with the right lenders and products, brokers still remain best placed to support borrowers in their ownership journey.  

The success stories will come from those brokers who are proactive in their approach, increasing their marketing and education around shared ownership and remaining close to clients to provide the support they need. 

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