Aylesbury: snake that gets you on the ladder

Affordable living is taking a fresh twist in Aylesbury with the unveiling of the lean, green Serpentine
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For hundreds of years, architects have been building homes in long, straight rows. But now the Serpentine, a curvy snake of a scheme, is bending all the rules. Designed by the award-winning Make Architects for Thames Valley Housing, this impressive S-shaped scheme with a host of green credentials is an ideal opportunity for young families to get on to the housing ladder in commuting country with a grammar school nearby.

The Serpentine is a twisting terrace of new homes
From £41,000 (shared ownership): the Serpentine, which consists of 94 homes, is described as a twisting contemporary take on the classic Victorian terrace

Make describes it as a contemporary take on the classic Victorian terrace. It is also affordable, with shared-ownership prices of £41,000 and deposit requirements as low as £2,050.

From £41,000 (shared ownership): the Serpentine, which consists of 94 homes, is described as a twisting contemporary take on the classic Victorian terrace
The scheme is being built in Aylesbury, the county town of Buckinghamshire, and is within easy reach of the town's facilities as well as the open spaces of the Chiltern Hills.

There are 30 homes available for shared ownership, out of a total of 94 homes. Prices start at £41,000 for a 40 per cent share of a shared-ownership one-bedroom flat, with a total value of £102,500, which falls inside the stamp duty ceiling of £125,000.

The two-bedroom flats start from £49,000 for a 40 per cent share of a property priced at £122,000, meaning a £2,450 deposit is required (based on a 95 per cent mortgage), while two-bedroom houses are £70,000 for a 40 per cent share (deposit: £3,500). There are also three-bedroom houses priced at £78,000 for a 40 per cent share (deposit: £3,900).

The development will be finished by the beginning of next month, and while the apartments have communal patios and gardens, some of the houses on the site have private gardens.

"The Serpentine offers an extremely rare opportunity to buy into a high-quality, contemporary development in this central location at an extremely affordable price," said Kush Rawal, head of sales and marketing at Thames Valley.

"These homes offer first-time buyers a real opportunity of getting their foot on the property ladder."

The Serpentine offers modern interiors at an accessible price
The development is five minutes' walk from the local station and trains from Aylesbury to Marylebone take about an hour, with an annual season ticket costing £3,520. The Government's proposed High Speed 2 rail service from London to Birmingham will pass by the area, to the horror of objectors who claim it will ruin unspoiled countryside.

However, the line is not close enough to the town to cause noise to homes. As for the site's green credentials: "The Serpentine has been locally manufactured, using responsibly sourced timber and is a pioneering example of high-quality, sustainable construction," said Justin Nicholls, of Make.

To qualify, buyers need a household income of between £18,000 and £60,000 and priority will be given to those who already live or work locally.

For more details, visit homebuy4u.co.uk or contact Thames Valley on sales@tvha.co.uk.

Another 26 properties on the site, built by Denne Construction, are on private sale through Leadbitter Homes (leadbitterhomes.co.uk) priced from £112,500 for a one-bedroom flat, up to £199,950 for a three-bedroom house.

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