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Dr Alison Wallace publishes report: Exploring Shared Ownership Markets outside London and the South East

Posted on 21 February 2019

Shared ownership homes are found in all English regions but are geographically concentrated in London and the South-East.

There are calls to expand and mainstream the provision of this hybrid tenure. This report outlines the key findings of research by Dr Alison Wallace at the Centre for Housing Policy and funded by the Cast Foundation into the trade-offs new home buyers make when finding a home and considering shared ownership, as well as explores the factors that help or hinder housing providers in expanding their offer. The full report, including a range of data tables, is available on

Key points 

Shared ownership is serving different market segments in different housing markets, with implications for marketing, the potential for staircasing and receipts, long term support and affordability/sustainability. In the case study areas, shared ownership was meeting housing demand for homeownership from households who had no or limited family support, were single, had families or precarious employment, were older following relationship breakdown or had held unsustainable housing debt. Drivers for the purchase of shared ownership frequently reflected a positive desire for homeownership but also problems within the private rented sector, in terms of limited security of tenure, property conditions, and the value for money when paying high rents. In a more limited fashion, an inability to access, or the stigma associated with, social housing was also a factor.

While homeownership is associated with a choice of locations and property types, shared owners in all areas – not least in the Bristol region - had limited control over these issues, with implications for the size of the potential market or dissatisfaction further down the line. Buyers varied in their attitudes to risk prompting a range of approaches – some minimal, others comprehensive - to appraise themselves of market information and forms of support. Information about home purchase and shared ownership was often viewed as fragmented and incomplete and new buyers would welcome information about the sequencing of the purchase process and earlier details about shared ownership.

The research indicated that differing institutional responses to local markets shaped the volume and nature of any new shared ownership supply, including the equity stakes purchased. Providers reported a number of barriers to the expansion of shared ownership including land, competition between existing and new local authority, housing association and private providers and market awareness.

Read the full report: CAST shared ownership report Feb 2019 (PDF , 1,792kb)

Read the summary: CAST ownership summary Feb 2019 (PDF , 178kb)