“For many people, shared ownership remains the only affordable option,” says Kush Rawal of Thames Valley Housing Association. “Help to Buy has raised expectations but this route on to the property ladder is still too expensive for most first-time buyers and we have seen a spike in shared-ownership enquiries as a result.”
Other housing associations report a similar surge and have responded by bringing forward the launch of new shared-ownership flats. Notting Hill Home Ownership has unveiled a string of developments in the capital’s four central travel zones, stretching from Teddington to Bermondsey and Wandsworth to Wembley.
It is also offering its new, innovative low-cost scheme. Discount Market Sale allows buyers to purchase a home at 30 per cent below market value yet still own 100 per cent of the property. This is available — underwritten by Hammersmith & Fulham council — at The Bloom, a 170-home development in Shepherd’s Bush (Zone 2), where full market value prices start at £267,500.
The advantage over conventional shared ownership is that no rent is payable on the portion of the property the council owns, making monthly outgoings significantly less. Buyers can live there indefinitely, and if they sell and prices have risen, they will profit. The council has the legal right to buy back the property if the buyer chooses to sell, with the owner receiving 70 per cent of the open market value. Discount Market Sale is open to those who live or work in Hammersmith & Fulham borough and earn less than £64,000.
The Bloom backs on to a five-acre nature reserve. On-site facilities include a health centre, underground parking and convenience store. Shared-ownership flats are also available, priced from £145,000 for a 50 per cent share.
Riverside living is on offer at Battersea Reach and Riverside Quarter on the Wandsworth waterfront, from £87,000 for a 40 per cent share of a studio (full price, £217,500). Folio, in Islington (Zone 1), is part of a trendy new district around a nine-acre canal basin moments from Angel. Prices from £131,500 for a 30 per cent share (full price, £437,500).
Zone 3 developments include Putney Point (coming soon), while at The Boatyard in Ealing (Zone 4), flats overlooking Grand Union Canal cost from £80,000 for a 40 per cent share (full price, £200,000). Up-and-coming Zone 2 addresses include Blueprint in Southwark, launching at the beginning of November, and Oval Quarter in Lambeth, where showhome viewing is in progress.
Oval stands out as good value at about £500 a square foot, with a promising future. The Northern line spur to Battersea Power Station will boost an area already benefiting from regeneration rippling out from Nine Elms and Vauxhall.
Oval Quarter brings a much-needed housing scheme of scale and style. A Seventies council estate — 30-acre Myatt’s Field North — has been bulldozed to make way for 808 mixed-tenure new homes and one of the largest new parks in London. There will also be allotments and a showpiece community centre with café, creche and IT suite built “under” the park but with a sloping glass roof to maximise solar gain. Lead developer Higgins Homes is selling the private homes and the entire project will take five years to complete. For all the above schemes, call 020 8357 4444.
Nearby Brixton (Zone 2) is popular with young Londoners. Housing is cheaper, the lively local scene includes plenty of nightlife, and Brixton Village market on Electric Avenue offers a wide range of high-quality food outlets.
Genesis housing association has launched a development in Acre Lane where one-bedroom apartments cost £65,000 for a 25 per cent share (full price, £260,000). Call 0808 118 3131.
Outer east London has some of the cheapest homes in the capital. Award-winning Orchard Village is an £80 million makeover of a Sixties council estate built for Ford Dagenham workers. The new name picks up on the site’s former use as a fruit farm. A new community square has grids of trees and sculptures of giant apples, cherries and strawberries. Circle Anglia housing association is building 555 new homes for rent, shared ownership and private sale over the next six years. Visit circle.org.uk or call 020 7288 4000.