Much has been done to help young buyers on to the housing ladder — but what about those ready to start a family? The fact that seems to elude builders is that the average unassisted first-time buyer is now nearer 40 than 30 years old.
Most schemes concentrate on one- and two-bedroom starter flats. Those that have houses offer a small number, which tend to be snapped up.
In a rare exception to the rule, Thames Valley Housing are selling 35 houses at Crescent Place near Bracknell, in rural Berkshire, on behalf of Bracknell Forest Homes. Prices start at £79,625 and £91,000 for a 35 per cent share of a two-bedroom or three-bedroom terrace house respectively.
Thames Valley reckons typical monthly costs would be £861 and £975 respectively, including rent, mortgage and service charge. All the houses have fitted kitchens and bathrooms, plus gardens and private parking spaces. And they pass the green space test.
Crescent Place is in the Jennett's Park development, where about half of the 270 acres are open space, footpaths, cycle ways, meadow, woodlands and playing fields. This is a family-friendly scheme with a new primary school, playground and — for the grown-ups — the Peacock Farm pub.
Jennett's Park is three miles from charming Wokingham and there is a bus service to the centre of Bracknell, two miles away, with plenty of restaurants, pubs, cafés, an arts centre, theatre and cinema. There is a water park and dry ski slope nearby as well as football, rugby, hockey and cricket clubs. Downshire Golf Course is two miles away and Bramshill Forest four miles away. Windsor Great Park is less than 10 miles away, and the shops and restaurants of Windsor itself are just a little further.
Direct trains from Bracknell to Waterloo take about an hour. Kush Rawal, at Thames Valley Housing, says: "As well as catering to young professionals, Jennett's Park also offers everything required for family living."
Priority will be given to local residents and candidates must have minimum household incomes of £31,000 and £35,300 for two- and three-bedroom houses respectively. Visit homebuy4u.co.uk or call 020 8607 0550.
If country life doesn't appeal, then L&Q has five four-storey, four-bedroom townhouses at The City Mills in Haggerston (thecitymills.co.uk). The properties, handy for City workers, cost £148,750 for a 25 per cent share. Some are open plan, while others have separate kitchens and living rooms.
Notting Hill Home Ownership has nine two- and three-bedroom shared ownership homes in Hanwell, west London, within walking distance of Boston Manor Tube. Alternatively, you can pick up the Central line (and, in time, Crossrail) from Ealing Broadway and a train to Paddington. Elthorne Park is nearby and all homes have gardens and parking spaces. Two-bedroom houses start at £172,500 for a 50 per cent share; three-bedroom houses start at £156,000 for 40 per cent.
There are still a few three-bedroom houses for sale at the Indigo development in Wood Green. Prices start at £144,000 for a 40 per cent share. The houses have their own gardens and are set in landscaped grounds in walking distance of Wood Green Tube. Visit nottinghillhousing.org.uk.
A handful of two- and three-bedroom houses will soon go on sale in Petts Wood, near Bromley. Affinity Sutton is selling two two-bedroom houses at £67,500 for a 25 per cent share. Buyers need a deposit of £3,375. One three-bedroom house will be available for £73,750 for a 25 per cent share, with a deposit of £3,687.
The development is close to Petts Wood station, with services to Victoria, Charing Cross and Canon Street taking just over half an hour. Visit affinitysutton.com.