The Guinness Partnership — formerly the Guinness Trust — whose handsome Victorian red-brick tenement blocks are among the capital’s architectural delights, has for the first time launched a development of homes exclusively for private sale.
Prices start at £325,000 for one-bedroom apartments and in a bid to encourage home buyers rather than buy-to-let investors and property speculators, Guinness is providing cashback of £5,000 per year for each of the first two years to “bona fide” owners. This means buyers have to be genuinely in residence, on the electoral roll and with utility bills and council tax in their name.
The commercial approach is part of a new strategy to “invest private sector profit into social purpose”, or using the proceeds from selling to fund more affordable homes for rent.
THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE
Grand Regent Tower has been built on the site of a huge cash-and-carry warehouse backing on to Queen Mary University and borders not only the Regent’s Canal but two parks. “Rarely do you get a high-rise canalside building,” says Lars Gooch of estate agent Keatons. “The views are spectacular, almost 360 degrees from some flats.”
This part of the old East End, postcode E2, is definitely on the up, being in the middle of what some estate agents call the “golden triangle” — an area enclosed by the City, Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park at Stratford. Both Bethnal Green and Mile End Tube stations, in Zone 2 are a 10-minute walk from the development. Property values here equate to about £600 per square foot, meaning two-bedroom flats cost from £470,000 and three-bedroom homes from £650,000.
From £325,000: apartments at Grand Regent Tower beside the Regent’s Canal
Guinness’s historic London estates are known for their spick-and-span condition, partly due to diligent management. Tenant contracts used to stipulate that stairs and passageways be swept daily and on Saturdays washed before 10am, while noise from “wirelesses” or singing had to stop before 10.30pm. In the distant past there were communal clubrooms with heated baths and bathing attendants.
Times have changed but Guinness says its caring ethos and resident-friendly service will continue at the private sale developments. Grand Regent Tower has a concierge to deal with day-to-day issues. Underground parking spaces cost £15,000. Call Keatons on 020 8981 7788.
Coming soon is a mixed-tenure Guinness scheme of 140 homes, with 56 for private sale, at Elephant & Castle, part of the area’s ambitious regeneration. Call 0844 800 2020.
PEABODY PRIVATE SALES
Peabody is another famous London housing association going down the private sales route.
Developments unveiled include Lock Keepers, a canalside scheme in Bow; More West, moments from Latimer Road Tube station in west London; The Peltons in Greenwich, and Cooper’s Road in Bermondsey. Prices start at £305,250.
In the pipeline are apartments in Camberwell and Wandsworth town centre. Visit peabodysales.co.uk or call 020 8502 5758.