London buyers benefit from affordable shared ownership scheme
A 27-year-old has taken advantage of an affordable housing scheme to secure a 50% share in a new apartment in Brixton - with plans to staircase within a couple of years to own the property outright.
After living in Switzerland for several years, Kirsty Duncan returned to London with plans to settle down and buy a home. Having been a Brixton resident before she moved abroad, Kirsty was keen to live in that area of London again. When she started her search she found a new development from Genesis called Acre Lane that ticked all the boxes.
"When I first moved back from Geneva I had every intention of buying, but I couldn't find anything I liked, so I moved in with some friends into an old Victorian conversion property," explains Kirsty. "It was nice, but I needed my own space, so when I saw the adverts for Acre Lane, I jumped at the chance to visit. I went along to the open day, and after seeing the development decided it was something I definitely wanted to pursue."
Shared ownership was not something she had initially considered, but once she heard how the scheme worked its affordability made perfect sense.
"I purchased a 50% share in my apartment and am hoping that within in a couple of years I will be able to staircase to own it outright," she adds. "The whole process was easy and quick, the most frustrating bit was waiting for the builders to finish so I could move in! It was definitely worth the wait though. The fact that it's a new property is also great; the open plan layout works nicely, and has plenty of storage meaning I can have so many things that I couldn't in the house share!"
When Kirsty first moved in to her new home Genesis organised a ‘meet your neighbours' event, helping to foster a community feel within the building.
Other shared ownership options in London
Acre Lane has proved so popular that all properties there are now sold, but Genesis has alternative shared ownership opportunities throughout the capital - including Zenith House in Colindale, North London. This contemporary development on Edgware Road incorporates 308 new homes in a wide range of property types set across several buildings, all with their own private balcony and spacious open-plan living areas. The development also has landscaped outdoor areas, gated security and an underground car park. The environmentally-friendly features of Zenith House aim to reduce utility bills for residents, and include community heating; superior insulation; low-eneergy lighting; solar panels and ventilation and heat recovery systems; and 'green' roofs to provide a habitat for wildlife. There are 40 charging points for electric cars, and residents enjoy two years of free membership to car club Zipcar, which eliminates the need to own a vehicle.
The shared ownership scheme offers priority to first-time buyers whose household income is less than £66,000 a year, and who live or work in the London Borough of Barnet. Buyers can purchase as little as 25% of the value of the property and pay subsidized rent on the remaining share.
Guide prices (subject to change) include one-bedroom apartments from £58,250 for a 25% share (based on a full market value of £233,000); two-bedroom from £76,250 for a 25% share (full market value of £305,000).