One-on-one interview: Charlotte Floodgate of Southern Housing Group
Marc Da Silva this time poses the questions to Charlotte Floodgate, sales and marketing manager of affordable homes provider and developer Southern Housing Group, to talk about the company's new scheme The Edge in Brighton.
Could you please tell us about The Edge? At The Edge we are offering 55 Shared Ownership homes, which include a selection of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.This stunning residential development was designed by Brighton based Miller Bourne Architects and we feel they have done a great job of embracing the artistic and community spirit of the city.
The development reflects the vibrancy of the city and is full of colour.It includes a specially commissioned mosaic centrepiecein the communal gardens and beautiful vintage reclaimed Victorian lampposts. There's even a fairytale inspired adventure playground complete with turrets and slides for younger residents!
How much do homes in The Edge start from? Apartments start at just £69,000 for 40% of a shared ownership home. Priority for homes are given to applicants living in Brighton & Hove, finally providing long-time local residents with an opportunity to purchase their own home in an affordable way.
What is Shared Ownership all about and why should buyers consider it? Shared Ownership is all about making homeownership affordable. It's a government-backed scheme enabling first-time buyers to purchase a percentage share of up to 75%. The purchaser then pays a subsided rent on the remaining share. This significantly reduces the deposit requirement and mortgage amount, meaning buyers only need borrow what they can afford. Plus, there is the option to increase the share over future years and ‘staircase' the way to full ownership.
What are housing market conditions currently like in Brighton? The average house price in Brighton and Hove has increased by 12% over the past year with an average selling price of £350,000. A recent Nationwide study showed that house prices in Brighton were some of the fastest rising in the country, only behind London and Manchester.
Why should more buyers consider buying a new-build home as opposed to older property? New, quality builds are designed with modern lifestyles in mind and so layouts take into account the common appliances or furniture that people have in their homes today. Additionally, modern materials used in new-builds not only improve insulation, which is especially important as energy prices continue to rise, but also improve the aesthetics of a property. For example, the homes at The Edge have been designed to maximise space and light through glass-paneled doors, glass brick walls while dual-aspect spaces are also a common feature.
Why should The Edge be considered for a WhatHouse? Award? As a development, The Edge has everything that a buyer could want. It offers modern contemporary apartments with high specification, internal communal areas which are striking, plus, unusually for a new development, plenty of outdoor space for residents to enjoy. Its hilltop location offers stunning views over Brighton, and it is well located for access to rail and road links.