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Leeds BS flags increase in wider shared ownership borrowing as Aster pledges 2,800 homes

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  • 24/09/2019
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Leeds BS flags increase in wider shared ownership borrowing as Aster pledges 2,800 homes
The shared ownership initiative has become more popular outside the capital over the past decade, breaching its traditional stronghold of London, according to figures released by Leeds Building Society.

 

Data from the mutual revealed that from 2009 to 2018, the proportion of its shared ownership borrowers buying in London decreased from 34 per cent to 13 per cent, as other regions recorded growing demand. 

The South East continues to be the most popular area to make use of the initiative to enter the property market, with 30 per cent of the society’s borrowers buying in the region. 

Areas of the UK experiencing growth in the use of shared ownership in the same period, include the South West (four per cent of borrowers in 2009 to 13 per cent in 2018), East Midlands (six per cent of borrowers to 12 per cent), West Midlands (four per cent of borrowers to 10 per cent) and the North West (four per cent of borrowers to eight per cent). 

Matt Bartle (pictured), director of products at Leeds Building Society, said: “Shared ownership has been in existence for 40 years and provides an opportunity for people to step onto the property ladder, particularly for first-time buyers, as it’s one way to bring down the size of deposit required. 

“London has traditionally been associated with shared ownership due to its high property prices, however we’re seeing significant growth in homebuyers in other regions taking advantage of the scheme.” 

He added: “The market is strong, healthy and growing across the UK and offers a way to help more people to have the home they want.” 

Shared Ownership is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

 

Aster Group on track to double shared ownership portfolio in next five years 

Housing association Aster Group has revealed that it plans to build 2,800 new shared ownership homes over the next five years – boosting its shared ownership portfolio to more than 5,000 by 2024. 

The announcement was made during Shared Ownership Week 2019 which takes place from 19-25 September.  

Aster is building homes across the south of England with demand for shared ownership properties nationally expected to increase by 150 per cent by 2023, according to Savills. 

So far, it has built 453 shared ownership properties in the year to the end of March 2019 – its highest single-year total for homes of this tenure. 

Research conducted by Aster last year for its Another Way report of 200 shared ownership buyers in the UK revealed six in 10 (62 per cent) would recommend the product to friends and family. 

A lack of education – among both the general public and shared ownership homeowners – was identified as a key challenge facing the sector in the report.  

It found that 60 per cent of those surveyed did not know they could move from their existing shared ownership property to another one, and while 73 per cent understood the concept of staircasing – the process of gradually growing an equity stake in the property – only one in 10 had attempted it.   

Amy Nettleton, assistant development director for sales and marketing at Aster Group, said: “First-time buyers face huge challenges when it comes to taking that first step onto the property ladder. 

“This is why we’ve committed to shared ownership continuing to be a key part of our strategy and development pipeline. The next step is the industry working together to ensure more people are aware of the benefits this type of tenure can offer.” 

Nettleton added that in order to help shared ownership reach its full potential, more needed to be done. 

“Communication is key and we must work together to build the shared ownership brand, simplifying the language we use when talking about the product.” 

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