They are on the river, in parkland, and have some of the best postcodes. New homes for first-time buyers will be available in the largest sale in London, to be held at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 20 June 2009.
With a falling number of new homes being built it would be wise to buy now while there are properties to choose from, with starter-home discounts. When the market picks up so will the prices.
Thousands of properties come with lifestyle extras such as a gym or concierge, and have eye-catching “green” architecture and designer interiors.
Prices start at £140,000 but buyers can get on the property ladder for less than £40,000 via one of the shared-equity options available.
About the event
The event has been organised by 20 leading housing associations and their private developer partners who, together, are responsible for delivering the Government’s Housing Options programme. This is available to all first-timers earning between £15,000 and £60,000 and not, as is the popular misconception, just for public-sector key workers - all in this category are eligible for shared ownership (part-rent, part-buy) new homes.
Young buyers can boost their purchasing power with a government-backed loan in addition to a normal mortgage, which defers payments for five years. This scheme is called HomeBuy Direct (more information below).
Housing Options is promoted as “the gateway to affordable housing in London.” However, there are concerns that many buyers are unaware that they qualify, while others are confused by the raft of government-backed initiatives on offer.
“Whole swathes of people are missing out,” says Graeme Moran, managing director of Metropolitan Home Ownership, a HomeBuy agent for the London area.
“Many people mistakenly believe they are ineligible - that their income is too high or because they are not employed by the public sector.”
Some associations are trying to spread the message by targeting parents because many qualifying buyers are under 25 and still living in the family home. Most homes available at the Wembley exhibition are ready to move in to.
What’s on offer
For £87,500, it is possible to buy a 25 per cent share (the minimum stake) of a flat at a select development called Coppetts Wood in leafy Muswell Hill. Call Metropolitan Home Ownership on 0845 850 6030.
At Indigo, a boutique development overlooking Regent’s Canal in Shoreditch, a 25 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat costs £61,250, while at the Art Deco former headquarters of GlaxoSmithKline in Brentford, 40 per cent shares cost from £69,000. Call A2Dominion on 0800 783 2159.
Even swish penthouses in Docklands can be bought on a shared-ownership basis. At Wharfside Point North, close to Canary Wharf, Genesis Homes is selling 25 per cent shares for £95,000.
Among the 1,000 homes being released by Genesis this year are flats within the grounds of a listed mansion at Queen Mary’s Place, Roehampton. Prices are from £56,375 for a 25 per cent share.
Other developments include Voda, in Hoxton; Kingsway Square, a listed college conversion in Battersea, and Horizon, in Brixton. Call Genesis Homes on 0800 883 0535.
At Factory Quarter, Acton, the cost of part-buying, part-renting a one-bedroom flat worth £222,500 would be £820.04 a month, against £1,389 if buying outright, according to Genesis. Call 020 7173 4999.
At Bauhaus, a 189-home development in Croydon town centre, one-bedroom flats cost from £108,500 under the HomeBuy deal. Call 020 8667 0607.
How it works
HomeBuy Direct overcomes the biggest obstacle faced by buyers, that of raising a sizeable deposit. Buyers take out a mortgage for 70 per cent of the cost of a new property and receive a five-year interest-free loan. Each participating developer has an allocation of government money, linked to specific properties and building plots.
Deals are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so do not delay. Different areas are covered by different HomeBuy agents, who will decide whether you qualify.
The London Affordable New Homes Show, Great Hall, Wembley Stadium, Wembley. From 11am to 4pm on 20 June 2009. Entrance is free.