Affordable housing provider SO Resi has today unveiled its second annual report into the status of shared ownership in England, revealing the housing aspirations of the next generation of homebuyers, and a crucial need for greater education on housing options for young people.
Aimed at understanding attitudes towards homeownership, and the housing ambitions of young people, the research surveyed more than 2000 18–30-year-olds across England. Important details about attitudes towards housing, and aspirations of young people, were unveiled including:
- More than half of those questioned were living in rented accommodation, with only 16% currently owning their own home.
- Renting was seen as a necessity, with 60% saying it was all they could afford, whilst 47% of 25–30-year-olds felt they had no choice but to rent as they couldn’t get a mortgage due to either not earning enough or having an insufficient credit rating. ·
- 70% of respondents said they would prefer to own their own home – yet despite significant interest, two-thirds said they knew nothing about the process of buying a home.
- Affordability is seen as the biggest barrier to homeownership and was cited by 61% of 18-24-year-olds and 53% of 25-30-year-olds as the main reason for not buying.
- Homeownership was second on the list of priorities for young people after getting a good job.
The research revealed that there were several frustrations with renting. The most common was the perception that renting is ‘dead money’ followed by not being able to personalise the accommodation by decorating, for example. There was also a frustration with the speed at which landlords deal with repairs and concerns amongst the older cohort about the security of renting if a landlord changes their mind. Renting was generally seen as a temporary situation, with owning a home viewed as a more reliable option.
Those surveyed were asked specifically on their attitudes towards shared ownership, a tenure that helps address the affordability barrier to homeownership by allowing the purchase of a leasehold property for a lower deposit with a rent paid on the remainder. Despite the tenure helping to tackle the issue of affordability head on, there was a worrying lack of awareness of the product, with only 18% of 18-24s and 32% of 25-30s aware of shared ownership as an option – and just 19% considering it. However, once the tenure was explained, interest jumped to 47% for the younger cohort and 42% for the older, with the ability to pay a lower deposit making this form of buying most attractive.
Kush Rawal, Director of Residential Investment at SO Resi, comments: “Our research shows a severe lack of education around housing options for young people, and as an industry we must take action now to ensure that we take a proactive approach to delivering education on the subject of homeownership, whatever their future housing tenure may be. If we don’t, a whole generation may miss out.” To find out more about SO Resi call 0208 607 0550 or visit soresi.co.uk.