The SE1 postcode contains some of London’s primest real estate — think the South Bank, Bankside, and swathes of Southwark and Bermondsey. Not exactly first-time buyer househunting territory, you might think.
But the Wandle Housing Association has homes aimed at first-time buyers in two chic new developments in this “golden triangle” just south of the Thames at less than £160,000 to just under £250,000.
Music Box, in Grand Union Street, is being built within a cluster of new cafés, bars and restaurants in the hinterland of Blackfriars Bridge, a short walk from Southwark Tube station.
Demand is likely to be strong for its seven shared-ownership flats, which are priced from £195,000 for a 30 per cent share in a one-bedroom property with a full market value of £650,000.
As well as mortgage costs, buyers will pay rent at £379 a month for a flat plus £128pcm service charge. Two-bedroom flats start at £247,500 for a 30 per cent share of a property with a full price of £825,000. Rent each month comes in at £361 and service charge at £158.50pcm.
IN TUNE WITH THE BUZZ
The Music Box (named because the London Centre of Contemporary Music is to be housed within it) will be completed in January and is in an area well worth exploring.
A decade ago it was a forbidding mash-up of council flats and offices and a bit of a night-time no-go zone. Today it is all change. As well as glitzy high-rise developments, the area has become a focus for bars, galleries, and cafés.
Pubs such as the Lord Nelson and the Union Jack have had good spruce-ups, and the Blackfriars Wine Bar and Union Theatre Café are buzzing in the evenings.
Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café is a more recent arrival to the area, joined by Mark Hix’s new venture Hixter Bankside, on Great Guildford Street.
And although Southwark is its closest Tube, Music Box residents will also benefit from the new Thameslink services from nearby Blackfriars.
Wandle also has a tranche of first-time buyer homes for sale at Grange Walk, just off Tower Bridge Road, due to be finished in March 2017.
Again, this is a great location — Bermondsey Spa Gardens, the foodie heaven of Maltby Street Market, the Fashion and Textile Museum, and the White Cube Gallery are all in the surrounding streets, plus the endless bars, cafés and restaurants of the reborn Bermondsey Street. The nearest station is London Bridge, just over half a mile away.
Prices at Grange Walk start at £159,000 for a 30 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat. Owners will pay a monthly rent of £466, and monthly service charge from £136.58. They will also need to service their mortgage. Two-bedroom flats start at £162,750 for a 30 per cent share. Monthly rent of £475,000, monthly service charge is £146.47, as well as mortgage repayments.
Wandle Housing Association will officially launch the homes at Music Box and Grange Walk next week. First priority will be given to those already living or working in the borough of Southwark, and applicants must have a household income of no more than £90,000.
Another reason for the flats’ appeal is the sheer rarity value of shared-ownership property in Zone 1.