New London homes for first-time buyers for under £250,000

Ultra-expensive central London homes skew the average house price, but most Londoners look to buy for under £500 a square foot. Search beyond Zone 1 and you can find penthouses with roof terraces, and developments with gyms and parking from £205,000.
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Almost 80 per cent of housing demand in London is for homes below £500 per square foot. This roughly equates to a price ceiling of £250,000 for a decent-size one-bedroom property and £400,00 for a two-bedroom home.

However, latest Land Registry data shows the average price of a home in the capital breaking through the £500,000 barrier. This is a sobering statistic for young Londoners trying to get on the property ladder.

Earnings are not keeping pace with recent rampant price rises, even for graduates with good career prospects. According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters, the average graduate job in London pays £27,000 a year, or take-home pay of £19,750 a year after tax, student loan repayments and pension contributions. Entry-level jobs for non-graduates pay considerably less.

These figures bring into sharp focus the so-called “affordability crisis” making life difficult or impossible for many would-be first-time buyers. Tougher credit scoring is making it harder, while even those who have parental help to put down a 10 per cent deposit typically have to spend more than 70 per cent of their net income on mortgage repayments.

This is why shared ownership and Help to Buy are so popular. Not enough new homes at the right price are being built to ease the burden, but more developers are pushing into the cheaper Travel Zones 3 to 6 and buying less expensive land for more affordable home building. These Zones will see the greatest demand over the coming years.

London’s high average property price is skewed by ultra-expensive homes in the centre. However, searching beyond  Zone 1 and into outer boroughs can be more rewarding for first-time buyers. Walthamstow, Woolwich and Wembley are still within reach for many lower-budget buyers — as are Catford, Streatham, Tottenham, Harlesden, Hendon, Hillingdon, Edgware, Colindale, Croydon, Eltham and Sutton.


Get in the zone
Served by four Tube lines, Wembley is one of the capital’s best-connected areas — less than 20 minutes from the West End— and also a fairly cheap  location, a combination that is often overlooked.

Two-bedroom flats at Wembley Park, a new 5,000-home district ringing the famous stadium, cost from £420,000. This giant 85-acre development is the size of Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden combined.

Brent council has moved its town hall to the site, making it a borough hub, while the developer, Quintain, talks of bringing West End-style glitz and glamour to the area with fashion boutiques, bars, nightclubs and restaurants alongside the well-established concert and entertainment venues and the new fashion outlet.


From £420,000:
flats at North West Village, the latest phase of Wembley Park. Call 020 7409 8756
North West Village, the latest phase, has apartment blocks grouped around a landscaped square. There is a gym, concierge service and residents’ club. Call 020 7409 8756. Nearby Park Royal, for many decades an industrial zone used by distribution companies because of its quick links to central London, is transforming into a place to live and work. A branch of the Grand Union Canal passes through it, providing an opportunity for waterside living. For many years, Guinness used the canal to transport barrels to Paddington for distribution to pubs.

First Central is an apartment scheme set in attractive landscaped grounds, with lakes, waterfalls, bridges and cycle paths, all part of a corporate campus owned by drinks company Diageo. In Zone 3, the location will get a boost with the arrival of Crossrail in 2018. Two-bedroom flats cost from £349,995. Call Bellway on 0845 018 0716.

Colindale, close to the M1, is where suburban Metro-Land begins, but it is on the Northern line in Zone 4, about 30 minutes from the West End and City, so it’s accessible for young professionals priced out of inner London. Zenith House in Edgware Road brings urban glamour, with contemporary-design, energy-efficient flats in a development with gym, underground parking, super-fast fibre-optic broadband and free car club membership. Prices from £265,000. Call Genesis housing association on 0800 954 0196.

Set back from Edgware Road is Aura, 189 good-spec homes, including townhouses, in landscaped gardens. Prices from £277,500. Call Weston Homes on 01279 873 300.

Hendon Waterside is being built alongside 30-acre Welsh Harp Reservoir, which has a boating club. Wembley and Sea Horse sailing clubs are nearby. Barratt has launched Lakeview apartments priced from £275,000. Call 0844 811 4334.

Lewisham has excellent rail links into central London, while the Docklands Light Railway provides a 15-minute hop to Canary Wharf. A council-led transformation of the town centre is under way, with hundreds of new flats, a new leisure centre, reconfigured road  system, a new bus station and shopping mall. Riverdale House, an Eighties office building notable for its modernist architectural style, is being  converted into 137 flats and will have a hotel-style entrance foyer and rooftop communal terraces. Running alongside Ravensbourne River, the site includes a Victorian mill with water wheel. Prices from £237,000. Call Galliard on 020 7620 1500.

Going green
Eltham in Greenwich borough is Oyster card territory, only eight miles from Charing Cross. Greenwich is also one of the capital’s greenest boroughs. Grove Place in the town centre offers 144 good-quality flats in two stylish blocks overlooking a piazza and gardens, with hotel-style entrance foyers and secure parking. Prices from £295,000. Call 020 7620 1500.

At St Mary Cray, a Bromley satellite, housing association Affinity Sutton has launched a smart-looking gated scheme of flats and houses called The Ridge, set on a wooded hillside. Show homes are open. Affordable penthouses priced from £305,000 have generous-size roof terraces. One-bedroom flats from £205,000. Call 0845 6000 787.

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