Go south-east young buyers

SE postcodes are among the cheapest in the capital. David Spittles says a new exhibition offers some exciting choices for first-time buyers
Renaissance, Lewisham
From £186,000: a one-bedroom flat at Renaissance, a new scheme opposite Lewisham train station. Call 020 8318 3900
The good news for first-time buyers is that half the new homes being built in London this year will be affordable, with a whole variety of schemes and government money enabling young people to finance a mortgage.

Associations are responsible for delivering the Government’s Housing Options programme, which is promoted as the “gateway to affordable housing in the London”.

Half the new homes being built in London this year will be affordable

All would-be first-time buyers, not just key workers, earning between £15,000 and £60,000 are eligible for one of these affordable homes. This income bracket is too high to qualify for housing benefit but too low to buy a home on the open market. Housing charity Shelter calls such people “the forgotten households” and calculates that there are almost 900,000 in this category in the UK.

SE postcodes are among the cheapest in the capital, the reason for the show’s geographical spotlight. Just beyond Greenwich are the leafy slopes of Shooters Hill and the former Royal Military Academy, forerunner of Sandhurst.

The listed 21-acre estate has been redeveloped into 328 homes — ranging from studios to five-bedroom houses, and including loft-style apartments, gatehouses and town houses overlooking a cricket green. Designed in a grand baronial style, the heritage buildings include a central tower with domed turrets, a chapel, great hall and lodges.

The Artillery in Woolwich
The Artillery in Woolwich, where prices start at £180,000. Call 0844 406 9800
London & Quadrant housing association is offering shared ownership flats in a new-build section called The Artillery. The development looks out over Woolwich Common, where the shooting and archery events in the 2012 Olympics will be held.

Prices from £180,000. Purchasing the minimum 25 per cent share (£45,000) would cost less than £800 a month in combined rent and mortgage repayments, with service charge included. Visit lqgroup.org.uk.

Greenwich, a Unesco World Heritage site, is experiencing a development boom. Last month the Government gave the green light to the controversial regeneration of the historic town centre market. Moments away are several apartment schemes, some built, some close to completion.

Greenwich Creekside is part of a new “creative quarter” alongside the Laban Dance Centre. Modern glass architecture by Squire and Partners raises the bar. Homes include penthouse flats with river and park views. Plans include a jazz venue, galleries, canalside bars and restaurants. Flats cost from £255,000 — or £63,750 for a 25 per cent share, through L&Q.

Greenwich, a Unesco World Heritage site, is having a building boom

Young professionals starting their careers can boost their ability to buy a home outright by taking advantage of developer incentives such as Barratt’s Head Start, which provides a 15 per cent interest-free loan repayable over 10 years. This means that buyers can get on the ladder with a five per cent deposit (and an 80 per cent mortgage).

Greengate House, Plaistow, E13
£155,000: or £46,500 for a 30 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat in Greengate House, Plaistow, E13. Call 0844 406 9800
The deal is available at Renaissance, a huge new-build scheme opposite Lewisham train station. Prices start at £186,000 for a one-bedroom flat, with a deposit of £8,900. Part of a £250 million town-centre regeneration scheme, the development’s 788 homes overlook a park and piazza, while alongside is a major new leisure centre with 25-metre swimming pool. Call 020 8318 3900.

Characterful homes in a nearby listed Victorian police station are available through Affinity Sutton housing association. Called The Annexe, prices are from £175,000 (£70,000 for a 40 per cent share). Contact 020 8313 8313.

A novel variation of shared ownership is on offer at Printworks, Elephant & Castle. “Shared equity” apartments are priced from £140,000 — 30 per cent below market value. When a buyer sells the property, 50 per cent of the profit goes back to the developer, First Base. Open-market apartments are priced from £225,000 to £575,000. Call 020 7613 1888.

The south-east London affordable homes show

One of the ways to find a property will be a show at the gracious Greenwich Old Royal Naval College later this month, where an exhibition will focus on what is for sale in south-east London.

Leading housing associations will be marketing hundreds of brand-new homes available to move into right now, either through the shared- ownership route, by purchasing outright or renting. Show apartments will be open for viewing at several developments within walking distance or a courtesy shuttle bus ride of the venue, allowing first-time buyers to make the most of their visit.

Solicitors and independent mortgage advisers specialising in the shared-ownership sector will be on hand at the exhibition,which takes place on February 19, 2011. Entrance is free. For more information, visit seaffordablehomesshow.com.

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