Home Sweet Home: The New Customer Journey

In 2018 there were more than 200,000 shared ownership properties in the UK, with various shared ownership schemes operating around the country. 

Our research suggests there are two schools of thought on shared and equity ownership. On the positive side they offer an affordable way for people to get a handle on the property ladder.  On the other hand, they can run the risk of being restrictive and costly.  Whichever way we look at it, shared ownership and shared equity schemes are likely to increase and here’s why:

  • In 2019 Ministers have admitted they will not reach Government housing targets
  • Not enough land is being freed up for property – only 160,500 homes were built last year
  • Inheritance used to be one way of finding a lump sum to fund a house purcase, but these days people live longer and costs of care in older life are significant and rising
  • Low wage inflation and economic uncertainty add height to the barrier between renting and property ownership.

Lower and middle income families and millennials in particular will struggle to own property without schemes such as shared ownership and shared equity and it is important that they know and understand the difference between the two. It can be a steep learning curve.

  • Shared equity means a buyer owns 100% of the property, but a third party has an equity stake in it – so will help a person to buy a property and will receive the same proportion back from the price received when owner comes to sell
  • Shared ownership means the buyer owns part of the property and the other part is owned by a third party. There may also be additional occupancy charges levied.

If we just look at Scotland, current schemes include Help to Buy (buying a new home with a low deposit, with funding from Government), Golden Share (affordable housing sold at a % of Open Market Value) and LIFT (Low cost initiatives for first time buyers).  There are also Rent to Buy schemes, which can allow people to buy a property after a period of renting, and some of the rent paid can be accounted for in the price that would be paid for the property. There are different schemes available in England and Wales.

Life is a journey and property ownership is one of the key milestones for people in Britain. Financial institutions, housing associations, councils and property builders can all benefit from understanding how people plan, explore options and commit to ownership or equity schemes. To find out more about decoding this customer journey: key moments of truth; pain points and reassurances; and ultimately to inform communications and engagement with potential buyers, please contact us.

Mike Rodderick - mrodderick@prescientuk.com
Beth Cameron - bcameron@prescientuk.com

10th May 2019