Publication - Research and analysis

The Evaluation of Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT)

Published: 21 Jan 2011
Part of:
Research
ISBN:
9780755999316

This is the final report of an Evaluation of the Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers. It evaluates four schemes: Open Market Shared Equity; New Supply Shared Equity; Shared Ownership; and GRO Grants.

137 page PDF

826.0 kB

137 page PDF

826.0 kB

Contents
The Evaluation of Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT)
APPENDIX 2 - METHODOLOGY

137 page PDF

826.0 kB

APPENDIX 2 - METHODOLOGY

The review has drawn on quantitative and qualitative data collected from a number of sources.

Data Collection and Analysis

We have reviewed the data held by the Scottish Government for LIFT schemes for the years 2005/06 to 2009/10. This has included:

  • The database of sale logs collected from shared equity purchasers on their characteristics, experiences and views. Sales log information for 2005/06 to 2009/10 is generally available for 82 per cent of NSSE purchasers and 52 per cent of OMSEP purchasers. This increases to 85 per cent of NSSE and 90 per cent of OMSEP purchasers for 2008/09 and 2009/10, with data collection strengthened as a result of a recommendation arising out of the interim evaluation of open market Homestake. However, there are some inconsistencies in the database and surveys are not always fully completed or recorded. This means that while the data is useful for general trends, it does not always stand up to detailed scrutiny.
  • Information held on the Scottish Government's Resource System ( TRS), providing details of schemes approved, including costs and subsidy levels.
  • Survey information historically collected by GRO Grant developers of house purchasers as a condition of grant. The information was collated and analysed as part of GRORE ( GRO Recording system) but was discontinued a number of years ago. The quality of information is largely dependent on the housing developer. Between 2005/06 and 2009/10, household data was available for 63 per cent of GRO purchasers.
  • A survey of RSLs conducted by the Scottish Government in April 2010 to establish the number and profile of shared ownership properties they own. Thirty-six RSLs responded with 5,582 shared ownership houses. We undertook a further survey of all RSLs with shared ownership properties to identify property addresses to identify a geographical sample of sharing owners to interview.

Interviews with Purchasers

Our objective was to interview 150 purchasers who had participated in one of the LIFT schemes. To achieve this we established a sampling frame of GRO and shared equity funded schemes to provide a proportionate and geographical spread of schemes by year of provision. The sample was boosted to include all purchasers where a member of the household was identified as having a disability and people from ethnic minorities. The sample of sharing owners was based solely on geographical location as information on the date of provision was not available.

The initial sample included 600 purchasers to allow a 25 per cent response rate. However, as this did not generate sufficient responses, the sample was extended to include more households. In the case of GRO purchasers, all for whom addresses are available were contacted and sent a further reminder. A comparison of the proportion of GRO and shared equity telephone interviews conducted is shown in Table A2.1.

Table A2.1: Comparison of Target and Actual Interviews Undertaken

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

Total

Target
%

Actual
%

Target
%

Actual
%

Target
%

Actual
%

Target
%

Actual
%

Target
%

Actual
%

Target
%

Actual
%

New Supply Shared Equity

2.5

0

4.2

9.9

7.0

12.6

8.6

11.2

11

4.7

33.3

38.4

Open Market Shared Equity Pilot

0.7

1.3

6.8

2.7

8.5

7.9

6.5

7.9

19

22.5

41.2

42.3

GRO grants

4.1

0.7

4.0

2.6

1.3

0.7

1.6

0.7

0

0

11.2

4.7

Shared Owner-ship

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

14.3

14.6

Total

100

100

In total a telephone survey of 151 owners who have participated in one of the LIFT schemes were conducted including:

  • 58 NSSE purchasers;
  • 64 OMSEP purchasers;
  • 7 GRO Grant purchasers; and
  • 22 shared ownership purchasers.

The purpose of the interviews was to build on the quantitative data already held by the Scottish Government and supplement it to gain a better understanding of the attitudes and motivations of those who have participated in each of the schemes.

The discussion guide used for the interviews is attached.

Stakeholder Consultations

We drew on consultative meetings already undertaken by the Scottish Government with:

  • private sector developers;
  • lenders (including a survey);
  • RSLs; and
  • local authorities.

In addition we undertook consultations with:

  • Scottish Government policy and operational staff;
  • lawyers acting for the Scottish Government in shared equity transactions;
  • the three RSLs managing the OMSEP in mainland Scotland;
  • Council of Mortgage Lenders;
  • CIH Scotland; and
  • Ownership Options in Scotland.

We invited a small number of other stakeholders to participate who did not respond.

Case Studies

We identified three case studies to provide illustrative examples of the contribution LIFT schemes were making to delivering sustainable mixed communities. These were selected based on feedback from purchaser interviews and consultations with the developers.

For each case study we conducted interviews with the developer and a selection of purchasers. The discussion guide used for each is attached.

New Supply Shared Equity Purchaser Discussion Guide

1. Introduction

1.1 About this study (brief overview of the objectives of the study)

1.2 Anonymity (names and addresses of interviewees will not be divulged)

2. About your current household

2.1 Can you tell me who lives in your household at the present time?

3. Your previous housing circumstances

3.1 Can you tell me a bit about your housing situation before you bought your home through shared equity?

3.2 Why did you want or need to move home?

3.3 Had you considered buying a home outright? If so, how far did you pursue this?

3.4 What other housing options had you considered and how far had you pursued them over what period of time? (Check if the households had applied for a housing association or council house. Probe - Did they think they had a realistic chance of being rehoused? If they had been offered a rented house would they have accepted it?)

3.5 Had you ever owned a home before?

3.6 Did anyone in your household have special housing needs? (Because of a disability or other factors)

4. Hearing about the shared equity scheme

4.1 How did you hear about shared equity housing?

4.2 What attracted you to shared equity?

4.3 Did you have any concerns about shared equity and were these concerns met?

5. Applying for the shared equity scheme

5.1 Generally were you happy with the process of applying to be included in the shared equity programme?

5.2 Did you have any particular difficulties with the application process and how were these addressed?

5.3 If you don't mind, can you tell me how your financed your equity share? (Mortgage, savings, etc.)

5.4 How easy did you find it to obtain three offers from lenders?

5.5 Did your lender request a deposit from you and did this present any difficulties?

6. Finding your property

6.1 How did you go about looking for properties? Did you approach more than one housing association?

6.2 Did you change your approach as time went on?

6.3 How easy was it to find properties that were affordable for you?

6.4 Did you experience any particular difficulties when finalising your mortgage?

6.5 Do you know if your solicitor and mortgage provider understood the shared equity scheme?

7. Affording home ownership

7.1 What housing options would have been open to you if shared equity had not been available?

7.2 Could you have afforded to purchase your current home or another house if shared equity had not been available?

7.3 Could you now afford to purchase a home outright without shared equity?

7.4 How affordable do you find your property? (Take into account your mortgage, repairs and maintenance, bills, insurance, etc)

7.5 How aware were you of the responsibilities of home ownership at the time of purchasing your house? Did anyone discuss with you the responsibilities you would have before you bought your house?

7.6 Do you think the shared equity scheme has been a good deal for you financially?

8. Outcomes from shared equity

8.1 Did the property that you bought meet your household's needs? Did you have to compromise?

8.2 How do you feel about the quality of your home?

8.3 How do you feel about the neighbourhood you live in?

  • How safe is it?
  • How much community spirit is there?
  • Is there a mix of different people and households in the area?

8.4 Has your home made any other difference to your quality of life? (such as being near family and friends, improved health through improved housing, etc.)

8.5 How would you compare your current housing circumstances with your previous circumstances?

8.6 Overall, do you think that shared equity was the right housing option for you?

9. The future

9.1 In five years time do you expect to:

  • be living in the same house with the same level of equity?
  • be living in the same house and purchased additional equity?
  • have moved on to another house?

9.2 What are the factors that will influence this and are there any particular barriers that you face?

9.3 How (if at all) has shared equity helped you to achieve your longer term housing aims?

9.4 Do you have any other comments?

(Thank you for participating, a gift voucher will be sent in the post to you in the next 24 hours)

Open Market Shared Equity Pilot Purchaser Discussion Guide

1. Introduction

1.1 About this study (brief overview of the objectives of the study)

1.2 Anonymity (names and addresses of interviewees will not be divulged)

2. About your current household

2.1 Can you tell me who lives in your household at the present time?

3. Your previous housing circumstances

3.1 Can you tell me a bit about your housing situation before you bought your home through shared equity?

3.2 Why did you want or need to move home?

3.3 Had you considered buying a home outright? If so, how far did you pursue this?

3.4 What other housing options had you considered and how far had you pursued them over what period of time? (Check if the households had applied for a housing association or council house. Probe - Did they think they had a realistic chance of being rehoused? If they had been offered a rented house would they have accepted it?)

3.5 Had you ever owned a home before?

3.6 Did anyone in your household have special housing needs? (Because of a disability or other factors)

4. Hearing about the shared equity scheme

4.1 How did you hear about shared equity housing?

4.2 What attracted you to shared equity?

4.3 Did you have any concerns about shared equity and were these concerns met?

5. Applying for the shared equity scheme

5.1 Generally were you happy with the process of applying to be included in the shared equity programme?

5.2 Did you have any particular difficulties with the application process and how were these addressed?

5.3 If you don't mind, can you tell me how your financed your equity share? (Mortgage, savings, etc.)

5.4 How easy did you find it to obtain three offers from lenders?

5.5 Did your lender request a deposit from you and did this present any difficulties?

6. Finding your property

6.1 How did you go about looking for properties? How did you find this?

6.2 Did you change your approach as time went on?

6.3 How easy was it to find properties within the house size and financial limits set?

6.4 Do you know if your solicitor, estate agent and mortgage provider understood the shared equity scheme?

7. Affording home ownership

7.1 What housing options would have been open to you if shared equity had not been available?

7.2 Could you have afforded to purchase your current home or another house if shared equity had not been available?

7.3 Could you now afford to purchase a home outright without shared equity?

7.4 How affordable do you find your property? (Take into account your mortgage, repairs and maintenance, bills, insurance, etc)

7.5 How aware were you of the responsibilities of home ownership at the time of purchasing your house? Did anyone discuss with you the responsibilities you would have before you bought your house?

7.6 Do you think the shared equity scheme has been a good deal for you financially?

8. Outcomes from shared equity

8.1 Did the property that you bought meet your household's needs? Did you have to compromise?

8.2 How do you feel about the quality of your home?

8.3 How do you feel about the neighbourhood you live in?

  • How safe is it?
  • How much community spirit is there?
  • Is there a mix of different people and households in the area?

8.4 Has your home made any other difference to your quality of life? (such as being near family and friends, improved health through improved housing, etc.)

8.5 How would you compare your current housing circumstances with your previous circumstances?

8.6 Overall, do you think that shared equity was the right housing option for you?

9. The future

9.1 In five years time do you expect to:

  • be living in the same house with the same level of equity?
  • be living in the same house and purchased additional equity?
  • have moved on to another house?

9.2 What are the factors that will influence this and are there any particular barriers that you face?

9.3 How (if at all) has shared equity helped you to achieve your longer term housing aims?

9.4 Do you have any other comments?

(Thank you for participating, a gift voucher will be sent in the post in the next 24 hours)

Shared Ownership Purchaser Discussion Guide

1. Introduction

1.1 About this study (brief overview of the objectives of the study)

1.2 Anonymity (names and addresses of interviewees will not be divulged)

2. About your current household

2.1 Can you tell me who lives in your household at the present time and their ages?

2.2 Can I confirm the ethnic origin of the head of your household?

3. Your previous housing circumstances

3.1 Can you tell me a bit about your housing situation before you bought your home through shared ownership?

3.2 Why did you want or need to move home?

3.3 Had you considered buying a house without shared ownership? If so, how far did you pursue this?

3.4 What other housing options did you consider and how far did you pursue them ? (Check if the households had applied for a housing association or council house. Probe - Did they think they had a realistic chance of being rehoused? If they had been offered a rented house would they have accepted it?)

3.5 Had you ever owned a home before?

3.6 Did anyone in your household have any special housing needs? (Because of a disability or other factors)

4. Hearing about the shared ownership scheme

4.1 How did you hear about shared ownership housing?

4.2 What attracted you to shared ownership?

4.3 Did you have any concerns about shared ownership and how were these concerns met?

5. Applying for the shared ownership scheme

5.1 When did you become a sharing owner?

5.2 Generally were you happy with the process of applying for your shared ownership home?

5.3 Did you have any particular difficulties with the application process and how were these addressed?

6. Finding your property

6.1 How did you go about looking for a property? Did you approach more than one housing association?

6.2 Did you change your approach as time went on?

6.3 How easy was it to find properties that were affordable for you?

6.4 What share did you originally purchase in the property?

6.5 If you don't mind, can you tell me how your financed your share? (Mortgage, savings, etc.)

6.6 Did you have any difficulty securing a loan (if applicable)?

6.7 Did your lender request a deposit (if applicable) and did this present any difficulties?

6.8 Do you know if your solicitor and mortgage provider understood the shared ownership scheme?

7. Affording home ownership

7.1 What percentage of the property do you now own?

7.2 What occupancy charge do you pay to the housing association?

7.3 What responsibilities do you have for the maintenance of your home? How aware were you of these responsibilities at the time of purchasing your house? Did anyone discuss with you the responsibilities you would have before you bought your house?

7.4 How affordable do you find your property? (Taking into account your mortgage, rent, repairs and maintenance, insurance, etc.)

7.5 Could you now afford to purchase a home outright without shared ownership?

7.6 Do you think shared ownership housing has been a good deal for you financially?

8. Outcomes from shared ownership

8.1 Did the property that you bought meet your household's needs? Did you have to compromise?

8.2 How do you feel about the quality of your home?

8.3 How do you feel about the neighbourhood you live in?

  • How safe is it?
  • How much community spirit is there?
  • Is there a mix of different people and households in the area?

8.4 Has your home made any other difference to your quality of life? (such as being near family and friends, improved health through improved housing, etc)

8.5 How would you compare your current housing circumstances with your previous circumstances?

8.6 What do you think would have happened if you hadn't purchased a shared ownership property?

8.7 Overall, do you think that shared ownership was the right housing option for you?

9. The future

9.1 In five years time do you expect to:

  • be living in the same house with the same level of equity?
  • be living in the same house and purchased additional equity?
  • have moved on to another house?

9.2 What are the factors that will influence this and are there any particular barriers that you face?

9.3 How (if at all) has shared ownership helped you to achieve your longer term housing aims?

9.4 Do you have any other comments?

(Thank you, a gift voucher will be sent in the post in the next 24 hours)

GRO Grant Purchaser Discussion Guide

1. Introduction

1.1 About this study (brief overview of the objectives of the study)

1.2 Anonymity (names and addresses of interviewees will not be divulged)

1.3 Were you the original purchaser of the property? (Terminate interview if not the original purchaser)

2. About your current household

2.1 Can you tell me who lives in your household at the present time?

3. Your previous housing circumstances

3.1 Can you tell me a bit about your housing situation before you bought your current home?

3.2 Why did you want or need to move home?

3.3 What other housing options had you considered and how far did you pursued them?

(Check if the households had applied for a housing association or council house. Probe - Did they think they had a realistic chance of being rehoused? If they had been offered a rented house would they have accepted it?)

3.4 Had you ever owned a home before?

3.5 Did anyone in your household have special housing needs? (Because of a disability or other factors)

4. Finding your property

4.1 How did you go about looking for properties to buy?

4.2 Did you change your approach as time went on?

4.3 How did you hear about this particular property becoming available?

4.4 What attracted you to the property you purchased?

4.5 Did you have any concerns and were these concerns met?

5. Affording home ownership

5.1 How easy was it to find properties that were affordable for you?

5.2 How affordable was this property compared with others?

5.3 Did you know that the developer had received a grant to make your home more affordable?

5.4 If you don't mind, can you tell me how your financed your purchase? (Mortgage, savings, loan, etc)

5.5 Did your lender request a deposit (if applicable) and did this present any difficulties?

5.6 How affordable do you now find your property? (Take into account your mortgage, repairs and maintenance, bills, insurance, etc)

5.7 How aware were you of the responsibilities of home ownership at the time of purchasing your house? Did anyone discuss with you the responsibilities you would have before you bought your house?

6. Outcomes

6.1 Did the property that you bought meet your household's needs? Did you have to compromise?

6.2 How do you feel about the quality of your home?

6.3 How do you feel about the neighbourhood you live in?

  • How safe is it?
  • How much community spirit is there?
  • Is there a mix of different people and households in the area?

6.4 Has your home made any other difference to your quality of life? (such as being near family and friends, improved health through improved housing, etc)

6.5 How would you compare your current housing circumstances with your previous circumstances?

6.6 What do you think would have happened if you hadn't purchased your home?

6.7 Overall, do you think that this was the right housing option for you?

7. The future

7.1 In five years time do you expect to be living in the same house or have moved on to another house?

7.2 What are the factors that will influence this and are there any particular barriers that you face?

7.3 How (if at all) has this property helped you on your way to achieving your longer term housing aims?

7.4 Do you have any other comments?

(Thank you for participating, a gift voucher will be sent in the post in the next 24 hours)

Case Study Discussion Guide: Developers

1. Introduction

1.1 About this study (brief overview of the objectives of the study)

2. Developing the scheme

2.1 Can you tell us the mix of house sizes, types and tenures?

2.2 How was this arrived at - what were the determining factors?

2.3 Specifically how did you agree the tenure mix and LIFT model used?

2.4 Did you set any objectives in terms of trying to create a mixed sustainable community? If so, what were these?

2.5 What level of consultation took place over the design and mix of the development?

2.6 Were any existing/ future residents consulted?

2.7 How were house purchasers targeted and why?

2.8 Was a golden share used for the LIFT properties and why?

3. Marketing the scheme

3.1 How easy was it to market the LIFT properties?

3.2 Do you know where buyers came from?

4. Outcomes

4.1 What are your views about the finished scheme?

4.2 How do you think it contributes to creating a mixed, sustainable community?

4.3 Specifically how has LIFT contributed?

4.4 Do you think that you have got an appropriate housing mix?

4.5 How does the turnover of rented properties compare with average turnover rates?

4.6 Have there been any resales of LIFT properties? If so, what has demand been like?

4.7 Have there been any significant housing management issues to deal with?

5. Other issues

5.1 Are there any other issues relevant to the scheme in terms of creating a mixed sustainable community?

Case Study Discussion Guide: Purchasers

1. Introduction

1.1 About this study (brief overview of the objectives of the study)

1.2 Anonymity (names and addresses of interviewees will not be divulged)

2. Previous housing circumstances

2.1 Can you tell us about your previous housing circumstances

  • What was the tenure of your home?
  • How close was it to your current home?

3. Your choice of area to live

3.1 What factors influenced your choice to live where you do? How important was the location?

3.2 What do you think of the area in terms of the layout and design?

3.3 Do you think there is a good mix of house sizes and types?

3.4 What do you think of the quality of public spaces in the area? Are there places for children to play?

3.5 Are the streets and public spaces clean?

3.6 Do you think the area is a safe place to live? Are you happy to walk around the area in the evening time?

3.7 Have you ever experienced any crime in the area or know someone who has?

3.8 Do you feel you belong to the area?

3.9 How well do you know your neighbours?

3.10 Do people mix well and get on together?

3.11 How do you travel to work?

3.12 How good is public transport in the area?

3.13 Are there any local shops and do you use them?

3.14 Are there any social facilities in the area and do you use them?

4. The future

4.1 Do you think you'll still be living in your existing home in 5 years time?

4.2 What would influence any decision to move?

4.3 If you think you'll move, what area would you like to live in?

(Thank you, a gift voucher will be sent in the post in the next 24 hours)