Awareness of the scheme is as low as 40% among people under 25, with 20% of those having no understanding of the scheme beyond knowing it existed, according to YouGov national research commissioned by Leeds Building Society.
Almost 40 years after the launch of shared ownership, awareness was found to increase with age, with 83% of 55s and over, 79% of 45-54s, 78% of 35-44s and 70% of 25-34s aware of the scheme.
Over a quarter of 18-24 year olds were unaware of this fact and thought ‘shared ownership’ meant buying a property with friends, family or a partner.
Around 24% of 18-24s said they would be ‘very likely’ or ‘fairly likely’ to use the initiative in the future – the highest among the age groups surveyed.
Jaedon Green, director of product and distribution at Leeds Building Society (pictured), said that the method is becoming increasingly popular for first-time buyers as it reduces the need for a significant deposit, and it also permits first-timers to combine it with a Lifetime ISA, maximising any deposit.
He added: “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.
No education and properties available
Shaun Church, director at Private Finance, said that the research is surprising, and suggested more about shared ownership in the press and through social media channels could help.
“Sponsored links and adverts on social media may help to raise awareness, as well as the introduction of finance classes to make millennials more connected to this sector.”
However, Dominik Lipnicki, director of Your Mortgage Decisions, said that this result is not surprising at all due to a very little financial knowledge among millennials.
“A basic financial knowledge at school is needed, but if on a hand the industry is not doing enough to promote education, on the other hand there are not enough properties available for shared ownership.”