Demand for shared ownership homes rocketed 167 per cent when the market reopened after the lockdown, with wannabe homeowners determined to get on the ladder in the capital.
The highest number of enquiries were recorded in Enfield, Croydon and Sutton, according to the portal Share to Buy, as buyers looked to the outer boroughs for bigger floor plans and outdoor space at a lower price.
Much has been made of the post-pandemic exodus of London, but new research from Hamptons International revealed that there is a micro boom in the capital, too — and shared ownership is a big part of it.
“Throughout the period of lockdown, we have experienced a strong demand from purchasers keen to tap into the financial benefits of shared ownership. We can mainly attribute this to the affordable nature of the scheme and a period of calm [during the lockdown] allowing first-time buyers to refocus their home-buying goals,” says Kush Rawal, director of residential developments at Metropolitan Thames Valley and SO Resi.
The affordable housing scheme requires a deposit of between five and 10 per cent of the share of the property, therefore, on average, the deposit for a shared-ownership home in London sits at £12,935. That’s £58,700 less than mainstream deposit requirements.
This whopping discount can unlock a home with a garden or access to green space in London, giving buyers a reason to stay in the capital rather than head to the commuter belt.
Woodberry Down in Hackney is a residential development built around restored wetlands and nature reserves and overlooks a series of reservoirs.
Heron’s Quarter — the aptly named shared ownership complex — faces West Reservoir, where residents and locals sail and swim.
There are three nearby parks: Finsbury Park, Spring Park and the 55-acre Clissold Park, with tennis courts, a café and a paddling pool.
Prices at Heron’s Quarter start from £108,125 for a 25 per cent share of a one-bedroom apartment — the full market value would be £432,500.
Woodberry Down is nestled among green and blue space, but is also in walking distance of Michelin-starred restaurant the Clove Club and Lyle’s in Shoreditch.
Manor House Tube station on the Piccadilly Line is only a five-minute walk away.
There are one- and two-bedroom apartments left in the BRX scheme in Brixton, with its thriving day and night life.
All homes have a balcony and access to communal gardens, and are a three-minute walk from Brixton underground station and the Victoria Line.
Prices start from £120,000 for a 25 per cent stake in a one-bedroom flat that would normally be valued at £480,000. Call 020 7650 5125.
Commuter homes surrounded by parkland
Rectory Park in Northolt, Ealing, offers the best of both worlds. The one- and two-bedroom apartments by Network Homes are surrounding by parkland and cycle paths but are a short bus ride to Northolt underground station and Ealing Broadway.
A new community centre is being built in the centre of the complex. Prices start from £106,000 for 40 per cent of a one-bedroom home (full market value would be £265,000).
‘There’s lots going on, and it’s really well connected’
For 31-year-old graphic designer Suzie Lambert, shared ownership allowed her to stay in the beating heart of the capital’s art scene.
After renting in south London for eight years she inherited some money which helped her buy in Camberwell.
The vibrant area boasts the College of Arts dating back to 1898 around which galleries have sprung up including the South London Gallery housed in the Grade II-listed former Peckham Road Fire Station.
The newest gallery is Sim Smith, in a Georgian townhouse, which exhibits work of up-and-coming artists.
“I love living in south London, so that’s where I looked, mainly. I was living in Stockwell and wanted to live in Camberwell because there’s lots going on and it is well connected, so I can get to work easily. But it’s about what becomes available, so I was really lucky to find the development Wing in Camberwell.”
All homes are sold out at the Wing, but check out hydenewhomes.co.uk for more shared ownership schemes across town.
For more details, visit the Shared Ownership Week website (17-23 September).