Almost half of first time buyers are considering turning to shared equity and shared ownership schemes to enable them to buy their first home, according to new research from Lloyds TSB. Of these, one in four said affordable housing schemes were their only option for getting onto the property ladder and they would not be able to buy a home otherwise.
One in four said their primary reason for considering such a scheme was that it makes or would make their monthly mortgage repayments more affordable while a further quarter said it allowed or would allow them to buy in an area which would otherwise have been unaffordable.
The economic downturn has also had an impact on how people view affordable housing schemes, with one in six of first time buyers saying they would not have considered the schemes previously, but have changed their mind due to the economic conditions.
Just over 80 % of first-time buyers claim to have a basic or good understanding of shared ownership schemes, although this is less for shared equity schemes (64%). In England, those living in the North have the best understanding of shared equity schemes (70%), while those in the East are least informed (53%).
However, despite relatively good levels of understanding, four in 10 first-time buyers are unaware of the affordable housing schemes available to them in their local area. Those living in the East are the most aware in England of the availability of local schemes, with only 30% unaware.
Stephen Noakes, Director of Mortgages, at Lloyds TSB, said: "Affordable housing schemes play a key part in helping first-time buyers onto the property ladder, and our research shows that almost half of them would now consider signing up to buy their first home. However, many more may be unaware of how these schemes can help them onto the property ladder, or indeed the availability of them in their local area."