The London Affordable Homes Show 2010

First-time buyers can scoop glamour and discounts at this year's largest exhibition of new-build starter homes
£237,500: new waterside flats at L&Q's Creekside scheme
£237,500: new waterside flats at L&Q's Creekside scheme can be bought as a 25 per cent share (0844 406 9800)
As research reveals new homes are now a better investment that second-hand properties, the year’s largest exhibition of new-build starter homes opens in London.

Young professionals coming to the city for their first job can now choose between smart riverside flats within the parliamentary division bell zone, and shared-ownership homes beside the Oval cricket ground. Young buyers can get on the property ladder for as little as £600 a month.

All would-be first-time buyers earning between £15,000 and £60,000 are eligible for shared ownership schemes, not just key workers.

Young professionals starting their careers can boost their ability to buy a home outright by borrowing a government-backed equity loan, in addition to a normal mortgage. This defers payments for five years.

At the exhibition there will be solicitors and independent mortgage advisers specialising in the affordable homes sector to answer queries.

Housing associations are responsible for delivering the government’s Housing Options programme, which is promoted as the “gateway to affordable housing in London”. However, many potential buyers are unaware that they qualify for special treatment, while others are confused by the vast range of new initiatives. The show aims to simplify things.

The average age of first-time buyers who cannot get a mortgage on their own is 37, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders, with about 10 per cent of potential first-time buyers choosing to move back with their family to save for a deposit.

The exhibition is on September 25, 2010, and held in Westminster, which means you can view nearby developments such as Aquarius House, part of the enormous St George Wharf scheme at Vauxhall. There, Notting Hill Housing Trust is offering shared-ownership options on one- and two-bedroom flats priced from £295,000. The minimum 35 per cent equity-share costs £103,250.

At neighbouring Oval, the former Freemans catalogue printworks has been turned into a new housing complex where one-bedroom shared ownership flats start at £259,000 (£77,700 for the 39 per cent minimum share). Call 020 8357 4444.

London & Quadrant housing association is offering shared-ownership flats at the former Royal Military Academy near Blackheath, south-east London. Prices from £190,000. Purchasing the minimum 30 per cent share (£57,000) would cost £825 per month in combined rent and mortgage repayments, with service charges included.

The 21-acre estate was once a training school for officers, but closed after the Second World War when facilities transferred to Sandhurst. Designed in a grand baronial style, the site includes a tower with domed turrets, a chapel, great hall and lodges and looks out over Woolwich Common, where shooting and archery events in the 2012 Olympics will be held.

The London Affordable Homes Show is on Saturday 25 September, 2010, at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, SW1. Entrance is free. Call 0845 230 8099, or visit housingoptions.co.uk.

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