More than half were not aware of the scheme’s flexibility, whilst only one in five customers understand how moving from one shared ownership home to another would work, according to a YouGov report, commissioned by housing association Aster.
While 73% understand staircasing, the process by which a shared ownership customer can increase the amount they own over time, only one in 10 have attempted to staircase.
Over one in four say that they received poor service throughout the shared ownership buying process, whilst just 14% of people in shared ownership schemes had received information from the government, suggesting more could be done to promote it and how it works.
Many support the scheme despite lack of clarity
Despite the lack of clarity, many are supportive of the scheme. Over half want more of these types of homes in their local area and 70% want to see the government agree new annual build targets for it.
Nearly two thirds of people who have bought through a shared ownership scheme would recommend it to friends or family.
Aster said such widespread lack of understanding of shared ownership’s flexibility needs to be addressed to ensure people recognise it as a potential option for them.
It said that housing associations and government need to do more to update customers on ongoing improvements to shared ownership.
Amy Nettleton, assistant director – sales and marketing at Aster, added: “Shared ownership can be a great option and it’s clear from the data that customers value it as an alternative to renting or buying through a traditional mortgage.
“Thankfully developers and housing associations are working to put more of these homes on the market, and an increasing number of mortgage providers offer tailored products for shared ownership buyers.
“However, some of these stats highlight the ongoing fear about shared ownership – that it’s rigid and homes are complex to sell. It’s this view that makes people think that shared ownership should only be considered once all other options have been exhausted.”