Almost half, 46%, of first time buyers are considering turning to shared equity and shared ownership schemes to enable them to buy their first home, according to research from Lloyds TSB.
Of these, one in four, 26%, said affordable housing schemes were their only option for getting onto the property ladder and they would not be able to buy a home otherwise.
One in four, 25%, said their primary reason for considering such a scheme was that it makes or would make their monthly mortgage repayments more affordable while a further 24% said it allowed or would allow them to buy in an area which would otherwise have been unaffordable.
The economic downturn has also had an impact on how people view affordable housing schemes, with 15% of first time buyers saying they would not have considered the schemes previously, but have changed their mind due to the economic conditions.
Shared ownership schemes are better understood than shared equity, the research also found. Some 81% of first time buyers claim to have a basic or good understanding of shared ownership schemes, although this is less for shared equity schemes at 64%.
In England, those living in the North have the best understanding of shared equity schemes at 70%, while those in the East are least informed at 53%.
However, despite relatively good levels of understanding, four in 10 first time buyers are unaware of the affordable housing schemes available to them in their local area. Those living in the East are the most aware in England of the availability of local schemes, with only 30% unaware.