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Shared ownership borrowers stretch their purchasing power

Shared ownership borrowers stretch their purchasing power

Shared ownership borrowers stretch their purchasing power and buy higher valued properties than other first-time buyers, according to new data.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has released the findings of a study into shared ownership, revealing key characteristics of this group of borrowers.

The research revealed first-time buyers in southern England, where affordability pressures are high, are more likely to opt for shared ownership than those in other parts of the country.

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Like other first-time buyers, shared ownership borrowers are increasingly opting for repayment terms of longer than 25 years.

In 2016, six out of 10 shared ownership first-time buyers chose to repay over a term of longer than 25 years.

In addition, fixed rate mortgages are more popular among shared ownership borrowers than among first-time buyers overall, accounting for more than half of shared ownership mortgages that are still live on lenders' books.

The CML has identified more than 60,000 shared ownership mortgages advanced since 2006, and around 40,000 of these are still live on lenders' books.

The majority of borrowers opting for shared ownership are first-time buyers, with around 200,000 households in the UK currently living in shared ownership properties.

Christine Newell, technical director at Paradigm Mortgage Services in Solihull, said shared ownership had been a positive innovation.

She said: “Anything that is around home ownership is a good thing. It does enable clients to get on the housing ladder, but some have restrictions where a client has to be careful. Some do not allow you to buy the whole property – it is a case of ‘buyer beware’."

She also welcomed attempts to find out more information about shared ownership borrowers.

Ms Newell said: “All affordable housing can be slightly more complex – there are so many different schemes out there and what happens is a government brings in a new scheme but the previous scheme exists, and a broker finds it difficult to find information on previous schemes.”

simon.allin@ft.com