New-build schemes in south London help make the city more affordable for first-time buyers
Young first-timers can buy in so-cool Brixton from £75,000 says Ruth Bloomfield
Despite being famous for its nightlife, music scene and fast transport links, until recently Brixton had little to offer young first-time home buyers. But from next month, new shared-ownership flats will be on offer from only £75,000.
The scheme is in Effra Road, an easy walk from Brixton Tube, the Brixton Academy music venue and the arty Ritzy Cinema. Interest can be registered at lqgroup.org.uk The wood-clad, low-rise block, designed by Hunters, has coloured balconies for each flat (ground-floor homes have private gardens).
Prices start at £75,000 for a 30 per cent share in a one-bedroom flat, or £85,500 in a two-bedroom property. There are a total of 13 shared-ownership properties on the site, out of 42 new homes.
Using Brixton's mainline railway station you can be at Victoria in seven minutes, and you are only 15 minutes on the Tube from Oxford Circus. Thameslink services run to King's Cross and Blackfriars.
"There is not much affordable property around here so we have had a lot of interest from single professionals and young couples," said Liz Talbot, marketing coordinator at L&Q, the housing association developing the project.
Effra Road is only available to people who live and work in Lambeth, but fans of south London who don't mind heading a few miles further east could opt for a home in Central Park, with shared-ownership prices starting from only £69,125.
The development will eventually bring some 1,200 new homes to a site just off Lewisham Road. Central Park is about half a mile from Lewisham station, with services to Victoria, Cannon Street or Charing Cross in less than 20 minutes.
It is also within an equally easy walk of Greenwich station, with services to Cannon Street in 12 minutes, making it a fantastic choice for City commuters. Housing association Family Mosaic (familymosaicsales.co.uk) has a total of 58 one- and two-bedroom flats on offer, which will be ready to move into from January.
Prices for a 35 per cent share of a one-bedroom apartment start at £69,125 — when mortgage, rent and service charge are taken into account the monthly cost will be about £770.
A 35 per cent share of a two-bedroom flat starts at £89,250. The Central Park scheme, designed by architects BPTW, replaces two ugly Sixties estates, Heathside and Lethbridge, and will take around six years to complete.
"The benefits of Central Park are obviously affordability and the location," says Debbie Coombs, assistant development director at Family Mosaic. "You have got the town centre of Lewisham close by, and Greenwich too. It is an easy walk to Greenwich Park or Blackheath. And it is an eco-friendly development with its own car club."
Security was a key issue in the design, and residents will have an onsite concierge, a manager, and the whole scheme is guarded by CCTV. There is also a small park at the centre of the scheme.
"There is already a residents association on the site," says Coombs. "We are hoping to create a bit of a community."