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New Space-Efficient Homes To Help Priced-Out Londoners

Posted 8 September 2021 by Keith Osborne

This Saturday, Barratt London introduces its new apartment design concept, SMRT by Barratt, at Eastman Village, Harrow...

In response to the shortfalls felt in the first-time buyer market, Barratt London is launching its revolutionary new apartment range, called SMRT by Barratt, which offer 37sqm of high-quality urban living space.

The very first of this property type are launching at Eastman Village development in Harrow on Saturday 11 September. The concept has been specially created to help ease the squeeze experienced by London’s ‘generation rent’, who face ever-rising property prices and rental costs. If successful, SMRT by Barratt will be rolled out across the UK.

Buying a London home is out of the question for many aspiring first-time buyers, with house-hunters feeling the pinch after property prices rose in the capital by almost £25,000 over the course of the pandemic. Changes to behaviour patterns have led to city dwellers spending more time at home than ever before, causing price per square foot to spiral upwards as a result.

The apartments will be one of the few new builds in the capital to offer a sub-£300,000 price tag, giving single occupiers a chance to get on the ladder who often struggle to buy alone, as well as couples who could be earning less than the London average. With young professionals in mind, as well as key workers and students, this means putting down roots much faster than previously anticipated and allowing huge savings on rental payments.

SMRT by Barratt at Eastman VillageFurthermore, price tags in the collection are around £30,000 to £40,000 lower than the standard product on the development, which is already one of Barratt London’s fastest-selling schemes to date. To cater for the phenomenal amount of interest seen at Eastman Village, SMRT is a particular response to the rise in enquiries from first-time buyers who have been lucky enough to save during lockdown.

All compliant with GLA space standards, the innovative one- and two-bedroom apartments come with double-sized bedrooms with built-in wardrobes from floor to ceiling, an open-plan kitchen/dining area, a utility cupboard to hide away white goods, a private balcony or terrace as standard, and a beautiful outlook over the three-acre green link and central landscaped plaza.

The block is in fact positioned in one of the best locations of the entire scheme, with Barratt London keen not to compromise on quality despite its affordable price tag. Encased in red brickwork as a nod to the site’s heritage as home to the Kodak factory for over a century, the block is appropriately named Emerson, after Peter Henry Emerson who made his name as eminent photographer of open outdoor landscapes.

Ed McCoy, sales and marketing director, Barratt West London, commented: “We have worked tirelessly with a range of senior external architects and interior designers to ensure every millimetre has been considered, including a lengthy test and learn phase with real people living in the space to provide feedback along our design journey. The clever space saving tricks, with optional extras and various types of interior packages, ensure everyone is catered for. Storage in every nook and cranny means there is no need for clunky furniture like wardrobes, sideboards, and drawers.

SMRT by Barratt at Eastman Village“While the square footage may be smaller on paper, the illusion of space created by wide balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows, and clever interior layouts, means the apartments feel open, optimised, and modern. It’s absolutely functional, without cutting any design corners - the incredibly high spec of appliances and finishes on offer at SMRT are some of the best I’ve seen. We believe this is a forward-thinking luxury product that is perfectly proportioned.

“Crucially, what SMRT means for property market is that homeownership can finally be within reach for many young Londoners. The smaller size means our costs are lower and we can pass that saving on to our buyers. We are unlocking the London market for the masses.”

The area of Harrow is significant to the launch, too. Currently, £1.75billion is being invested into the borough, with over 2,000 homes planned for the area in and around Eastman Village, as well as a new school, supermarket, cafés, shops, community centre, healthcare facilities and various flexible workspaces. According to Strutt & Parker, average house price growth in Harrow is forecast to be up to 20% higher than the rest of London within the next five years, making it an opportune time to buy or invest here. Barratt London’s scheme has five different train lines on the doorstep and a host of outstanding schools within just a few miles radius, adding to the attraction.

McCoy continued: “The country may be seeing a race for space, but this still leaves urban renters feeling stuck and paying over the odds. Allowing them to get on the ladder early, to see that capital growth as we often do with regeneration areas, will allow them to become second-steppers much faster than they ever anticipated. SMRT is a vital first step to leapfrog up the ladder.”

The design of SMRT has been led by Barratt’s in-house design and architecture team, BD Living, alongside award-winning Blocc Interiors. The apartments are pre-equipped with built-in modular storage that fits perfectly without leaving any awkward or unusable corners. Clever design features include a small office niche ideal for working from home with a contemporary built-in media unit and desk area. A large storage cupboard leading off the kitchen cleverly hides the washer-dryer and has plenty of room to house the ironing board, hoover and other bulky household items. The kitchen offers quality modern appliances, slimline worktops, and hidden pull-out storage solutions in its efficient design, whilst bathrooms are complete with white and chrome fittings with a distinct luxurious feel.

Barratt London is offering an additional hassle-free, turn-key package in partnership with Blocc Interiors, meaning the self-contained homes can be furnished with almost everything a first-time buyer needs from day one. The package is designed to help ease the burden of typically large furniture bills and removals on move-in day.

Buyers would also have access to the wide range of development facilities as part of Eastman Village, including an on-site gym which is due to open alongside the SMRT block, a community car club, dedicated bike storage, and a three-acre park with communal gardens which will surround the village – perfect for al-fresco gatherings with friends and family. A dedicated green link will connect the site to nearby landmark Headstone Manor; a unique Grade I listed Manor House and Museum detailing the history of the local area. Residents can also benefit from potential savings on their bills as part of the on-site energy centre housed in the iconic factory chimney, which has been preserved and repurposed.

Dawn Kitchener, founder and chairman of Blocc Interiors, who designed the show home, commented: “The SMRT by Barratt range ticks all of the boxes for a first-time buyer – from the easy work-from-home set up, to the cleverly designed TV area, and the in-built storage. It has been designed in a way that keeps the main living area flowing with plenty of space, so although it may technically be smaller, it certainly doesn’t feel it. I found it fascinating to work on and I believe the SMRT range of apartments will have a lot of mileage in the market.”

Ed concluded: “This new range of space-saving homes offers a smart new way of living for London’s city dwellers. We expect interest to be high amongst first-time buyers due to the lower price points, set at one of our most popular schemes. As property prices show now sign of abating, we want to help young Londoners get out of the rent trap and get their first rung on the ladder.”

Prices in the SMRT by Barratt range start from £290,000 at Eastman Village in Harrow, London. Find out more from Barratt London.


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