More first-time buyers using shared ownership are buying existing properties rather than relying on new-builds, and are also securing larger shares in their homes, according to data from Leeds Building Society.

In 2019, 16% of all buyers taking a shared ownership product with the society bought an existing property, and by 2020 that rose to 25%.

The society remained in shared ownership lending throughout the pandemic, and in the first six months of this year the data showed a similar pattern emerging to that seen in 2020, with 24% in Q1 and 25% in Q2 buying homes that were not new-builds.

The percentage purchasing a share of 50% or more rose from 24% in 2019 to 37% in the first six months of 2021.

Martese Carton, head of intermediary distribution at Leeds Building Society, said: “Typically shared ownership is popular with first-time buyers because they require a smaller deposit to purchase a share of a home.

“Saving for a deposit is consistently stated as one of the biggest hurdles first time buyers face when trying to secure their dream home.

“We believe our data findings highlight a lack of supply of shared ownership properties.

“Affordable housing schemes like shared ownership have the potential to help many more first-time buyers less well served by the wider market.

“This data also shows the scheme is providing an important stepping stone in the housing market, with existing shared ownership properties available because previous buyers have been able to move on into the mainstream housing market.

“Affordable housing schemes like shared ownership have the potential to help many more aspiring homeowners get a foot on the property ladder.”