Thousands of affordable homes to be built in 10 London areas

The Mayor will target 10 zones for a new homes boost to improve affordability for the 80 per cent of buyers priced out of the London market.
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Almost 80 per cent of housing demand in London is for homes priced below £450 per square foot, roughly equating to a maximum £225,000 for a typical-size one-bedroom property and £337,500 for a two-bedroom home. There is an annual shortage of 6,500 homes in this bracket, according to research by Savills.
The latest Land Registry figures available, for April, put the average London property price at £435,034 —far higher than most first-time buyers can afford, even with Help to Buy, which is having a limited impact in London. No-equity loan deals overcoming the deposit hurdle on new-build flats have been struck in eight boroughs, helping to bridge the affordability gap where property is cheaper.
In Barking & Dagenham, where prices are still 5.8 per cent below their 2008 peak, Help to Buy accounted for 37 per cent of new-build transactions. Newham, Bexley and Sutton also had high levels of new-build sales as a result of the scheme.
Buyers determined to get on the property ladder have no choice but to push into lower-priced outer London areas. As well as the above, other “cheap” boroughs include Waltham Forest, Greenwich, Havering and Croydon.
Mayor Boris Johnson’s solution to the crisis is to improve affordability by dramatically boosting the supply of housing, which should help to moderate price rises. Next month he is set to announce 10 housing zones where thousands of affordable homes will be built.
Tottenham Hale, Cricklewood, Croydon and Barking Riverside are almost certain to be on the list. All are so-called “strategic sites”, with good or potentially good integrated public transport for a swift commute to main employment centres. The release of public land and a fast-track planning system should speed up building of homes and infrastructure.
Tottenham Hale is expected to be given the special status of a “pathfinder” zone, partly due to its excellent transport links and the evolving Hale Village residential community, around which the new district of several thousand new homes will grow. Current property values are below £450 a square foot.
Hale Village is Haringey borough’s biggest development project since the Sixties, with 870 new “green” homes to date, a 1,200-room student campus, supermarket, a Diocese of London community centre and a specialist kidney care unit run by the Royal Free Hospital. Still to come are residential towers, private rental accommodation, shops and offices.
The 12-acre site borders protected parkland and the Lea Navigation canal route running into Docklands, while the adjacent train station, on the Victoria line, is a major interchange on the Liverpool Street to Stansted route. It also has a quick train link to Stratford and a black cab rank, unusual for Zone 3. A new station is to be built with a bridge providing a direct link into Hale Village.
Landowner Lee Valley Estates is working with developer Bellway and Newlon housing association to deliver homes, which are proving popular with key workers and young career professionals including junior doctors and nurses. A high proportion of residents — 44 per cent — are in the 16-29 age bracket. Bellway says it is selling homes faster than it can build them. The next phase of flats is scheduled for release this year.
Enlivened by students, office workers and neighbourhood shops, the expectation is that Hale Village will become a vibrant place, while more upmarket amenities will make it a much-needed new leisure destination for Tottenham.
This sort of fashionable, large-scale new homes development is a rarity in Tottenham, which evolved with the advent of the railways and was an important manufacturing base. Streets of modest terraces were built in the period up to 1920, before the Blitz prepared the way for sprawling council estates including notorious Broadwater Farm, which is expected to be bulldozed during future regeneration, paving the way for new housing with varied forms of tenure.
From the top of the apartment blocks at Hale Village, it is easy to see why the area became a base for traditional manufacturing, and why it will function as a decent place to live in this new era. The east-west vista takes in Stratford’s Olympic Park, Canary Wharf, the Gherkin, the BT Tower and Ally Pally, and seems to emphasise Tottenham’s connectivity.
Regeneration along the Lea Navigation will help boost housing supply. This waterway runs from Docklands to Hertford via Tottenham’s giant reservoirs and nature reserves. Along the route, derelict factories, mills and warehouses are being redeveloped and integrated with green spaces to form a regional “country park”.
For a long time, Tottenham has been affordable and accessible. Now it is on the brink of attaining up-and-coming status, too.
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