According to Leeds Building Society, three out of five of all its shared ownership buyers over the last three years bought homes in UK regions outside London and the South East, with areas including the South West – where borrowing rose from 14 per cent in 2019 to 15 per cent in 2021 – proving popular.
It continued that the number of society borrowers using shared ownership in the South East rise from 23 per cent to 28 per cent between 2019 and 2021. In the East Midlands the number of shared ownership borrowers rose from eight per cent to 10 per cent and in the West Midlands numbers rose from seven per cent to nine per cent of borrowers to nine per cent over the same period.
The proportion of the mutual’s shared ownership borrowers buying in Greater London has staid roughly stable at 13 per cent over the three years. However, in the North West the number of borrowers fell from 12 per cent to eight per cent and by six per cent to five per cent in Yorkshire during the same period.
Shared ownership enables people to purchase part of a property initially and pay rent to a landlord, which is usually a housing association, on the remaining share. Borrowers can then choose to purchase further shares in order to increase the proportion of equity they own.
Martese Carton (pictured), director of mortgage distribution at Leeds Building Society, said shared ownership offered first-time buyers an opportunity to step onto the property ladder.
She said: “London has traditionally been associated with shared ownership due to its high property prices, but it’s interesting to see homebuyers in other regions taking advantage of the scheme and demonstrates how it has the potential to help us bring home ownership within reach of more people in areas across the UK.
“With the gap between house prices and incomes predicted to continue growing, affordable housing schemes like shared ownership, which have been supporting buyers for over 40 years, offer a way onto the property ladder in areas like the South East where prices tend to be higher. Borrowers also appear to be using the tenure to buy outside larger city centres.”
Carlton added: “We’ll be continuing to monitor these regional trends closely because we’re always looking for ways to widen access to home ownership and ensure our products and lending criteria are meeting borrowers’ needs.”