Bank on Brixton: new flats for first-time buyers

Brixton is Zone 2's trendy place to live, but the average house costs £571,083. Good news for first-time buyers - who can buy a share or enjoy subsidised rent at these new flats from £199,000.
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London has a gift for reinvention and nowhere is this more obvious than in Brixton, which has moved from middle-class suburb to bomb-damaged wasteland, to cultural melting pot, to riot-racked problem zone and back to gentrification in the last 100 years.

Young professionals are attracted to the Zone 2 location’s lively nightlife, great shops, restaurants and the market, with its champagne and oyster evenings.

The average Brixton house price is £571,083 — up more than 13 per cent in the last year, according to figures from Zoopla property website. Home owners enjoy calculating their paper profit from this kind of exponential growth but young buyers, thoroughly priced out, are not so happy.

So first-time buyers will welcome a developer offering 40 affordable homes in this, a neighbourhood with plenty of growth left in it. 

Rent while saving a deposit
The Junction is a scheme by the housing association Network Living. It includes both private properties and affordable homes, which are being sold under the Mayor’s Housing Covenant.

Funded by Mayor Boris Johnson, the covenant promises something for everyone. Buyers can use shared equity or opt for shared ownership, buying a 50 per cent share of a flat and paying rent on the remainder. Alternatively they can go for a “rent to save” option where they start off renting the property at a subsidised rate while they save for a deposit.

Due to launch at the end of this month, prices start at £199,999 for a 50 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat, with two-bedroom homes starting at about £242,500, also for a half-share. Residents will be able to move in next spring, and The Junction will be fully complete in September next year. People already living or working in Lambeth will be given priority.
Brixton village: the area's Thirties indoor market buzzes with boutique shops and cafés including The Brick Box arts café, bar and theatre. Image: Rex

The site is close to Brixton stations, with good Tube links into central London. Asit Thakrar, site sales manager, says: “The area is very young and trendy with a bit of the Shoreditch vibe going on. Brixton Market and Brixton Village have been revamped and are full of cafés and boutique shops. You’ve got Brixton Academy, some very nice bars and restaurants, and Stockwell Park is not too far away.”

Regeneration includes the ongoing rebuilding of the sprawling Stockwell Park Estate which began in 2008 and should be completed by 2017. The estate was a classic example of  post-war social housing gone wrong .

This regeneration project is near The Junction, so the area will have a slightly work-in-progress feel for a couple of years. Another possible downside is that The Junction is car-free, so not only are there no parking spaces, residents will not be eligible for parking permits. Lastly, the development is on the junction of Brixton Road so homes overlooking the street may suffer some traffic noise, which can be 24/7.

The architect, bptw partnership, has tried to mitigate this. While flats overlooking The Junction’s courtyard have regular balconies, those that overlook the road have “sun spaces”, glass pods with sliding glass panels that can be opened on warm days and shut at other times, giving the feeling of being outdoors without the cold, wet and noise. These sun spaces also improve sound insulation. 

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