Six months after the Government’s flagship scheme to help London’s first-time buyers was launched, the choice for would-be home owners is at last improving. Help to Buy London was introduced in February, recognising that first-timers in the capital need more help to get on the ladder, and is due to end in December.
Under the scheme, buyers can borrow up to 40 per cent of the value of a new home priced up to £600,000 from the Government, interest free for the first five years. When you sell you repay the government loan, plus a share of the rise in value of that 40 per cent, should you make a profit. You will need a five per cent deposit, and a mortgage of 55 per cent to cover the rest.
Latest figures show just 256 households have so far used Help to Buy London. Critics point out that not everyone can raise a five per cent deposit. For the average first-time spend in London of about £350,000 this means finding £17,500 deposit, plus legal fees and stamp duty.
Not all young buyers, many already saddled with student loan repayments, are happy about taking on more debt. Fewer still earn enough to raise the maximum £330,000 mortgage allowed under the scheme.
Low uptake has also been blamed on insufficient new build. Now, though, that seems to be changing, and buyers can take their pick of some excellent developments around the capital.
Wood’s Road, by Crest Nicholson, is just off Peckham High Street and an easy walk to Queens Road Peckham train station. The homes will be ready next spring. Using the full Help to Buy London loan, a one-bedroom flat, priced from £455,000, will require a £22,750 deposit, a £250,250 mortgage, and a £182,000 government loan.
Two-bedroom flats start at £555,000, which breaks down as a £27,750 deposit, a £305,250 mortgage and a £222,000 government loan. Three-bedroom flats from £585,000 require a £29,250 deposit, a £321,750 mortgage, and a £234,000 government loan.
BETHNAL GREEN, E2
A winner in the great east London property revolution of the last decade, Bethnal Green is now all gastropubs and galleries, bankers and boutique hotels — and beyond the pockets of most first-time buyers. But Titanium Point by Guinness Homes has Help to Buy flats, available to move in now. Two-bedroom flats start at £570,000. Using the full Help to Buy London loan, this means a deposit of £28,500, a loan of £228,000 and a £313,500 mortgage.
Titanium Point is beside Regent’s Canal — cross a footbridge and you are in Mile End Park. The nearest station is Mile End in Zone 2, with 15-minute journeys to the West End or City.
First-timers can buy in Bow, focus of billions of pounds worth of regeneration, at Le Mare Terrace, St Paul’s Square. Light and bright, each flat has a balcony, while Mile End, Bow Road and Bromley-by-Bow Tube stations are close, as are Limehouse Overground and Devons Road DLR.
Mile End Park is a stone’s throw away, leading on to Victoria Park, and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. There are great pubs and bars around Limehouse, and shopping galore at Westfield Stratford City. From £420,000 for a one-bedroom flat, with £21,000 deposit, a loan of £168,000, and a £231,000 mortgage.
PUTNEY HILL, SW15
Putney Rise, Putney Hill, is halfway between Putney Heath and the shops, restaurants, and Zone 2 stations of Putney, with excellent links to the West End. One-bedroom flats from £515,000 require £25,750 deposit, a £206,000 loan, and a £283,250 mortgage.
Two-bedroom flats from £595,000 require £29,750 deposit, a £238,000 government loan, and a mortgage of £327,250. The first homes will be ready to move into in November.
Northway House is a smart new scheme near Totteridge & Whetstone Tube in Zone 4. It offers a 40-minute journey to central London, a good high street with delis and cafés, and Hertfordshire countryside within a couple of miles.
Twenty Help to Buy two-bedroom flats go on sale in September. Prices have yet to be released but two-bedroom flats in earlier phases were priced at about £500,000.