Dr Gemma Burgess, acting director of the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research said: “There is consensus that the UK has a housing crisis and that greater effort needs to be made to increase housing supply.
“Shared ownership has an important role to play in delivering new build housing supply and in meeting the need for affordable homes.
“The Government should do all it can to make it as easy and simple for providers to increase their pipeline of shared ownership homes, to reduce cost and complexity from the system, and to ensure that grant levels are sufficient to ensure a strong supply of shared ownership going forward.”
After surveying 24 housing providers, researchers found the average value of a shared ownership property was £265,000. The average initial share bought was 42 per cent with a deposit of £24,600.
The Government has put shared ownership at the centre of its affordable housing policy and says the model can reduce the amount needed for a deposit and result in lower monthly payments.
This was echoed in the new report, which read: “Shared ownership providers, lenders and wider industry stakeholders interviewed for this research were all very positive about what shared ownership offers to customers.
“In many parts of the country, interviewees felt that shared ownership is the only realistic route into homeownership for households with relatively low deposits.
“The product offers flexibility as it opens homeownership at a range of possible price points to households with modest deposits.”
But the scheme has been criticised by experts who say those who purchase a property through shared ownership could fall foul fluctuating house prices and unexpected costs, with some even finding themselves trapped and unable to leave their agreement.
After receiving submissions from The Law Commission, the new report also found some members of the public didn’t fully understand how the scheme worked.
“Members of the public do not always understand exactly how shared ownership schemes operate, or the precise nature of the legal arrangement which the purchaser of a shared ownership property is entering into,” the researchers were told.
Kush Rawal, director of Residential Investment at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, added: “We are pleased that this report, the first of many that we plan to commission, proves the valuable role that shared ownership has in helping people take their first steps on the property ladder.
“It’s also confirmed what we already knew – that people are often confused and uncertain about what it all involves.
“For this reason, we are determined to guide people every step of the way, with simple, clear and transparent language that ensures that there are no surprises down the line.”