Just for starters

Posted on Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Just for starters

at Canada Water's huge regeneration zone, a 10-minute walk from the Zone 2 Tube station

Later this year, housing association L&Q will be selling shared-ownership flats

A recent report by Halifax highlights the plight of London's first-time buyers as house prices continue to soar. The average London first-time buyer must now spend more than £410,000 on their starter home, and find a deposit of £100,000-plus. So shared ownership is perhaps the only option for young Londoners who don’t have family in a position to give them a six-figure leg up. The good news is, this autumn sees the launch of a range of starter flats in some of the capital's key property hotspots . We take a look.


1. Islington Square
Islington N1

If location, location, location is what matters to you, it doesn’t get much better than Upper Street, Islington. Early next year, housing association Family Mosaic will launch a selection of one- and two-bedroom shared-ownership flats at the glitzy Islington Square development, being built on a prime site once occupied by Royal Mail.

The scheme will include warehouse flats within existing Edwardian buildings plus modern new homes. And if the present bars and boutiques of Islington are not enough for you, there will be 170,000sq ft of new shops and restaurants on site, along with a gym and a cinema — so really you never need go out. 

Prices have yet to be confirmed, but registrations of interest are being taken. Visit familymosaicsales.co.uk for more information.

Prime location: new one- and two-bed flats in Islington offer glam surroundings



2. Quebec Quarter
Canada Water SE16

Billions of pounds of investment in new homes and facilities is transforming Canada Water. Later this year housing association L&Q will be selling a tranche of shared-ownership flats at the site, a 10-minute walk from the Zone 2 Tube station. 

The flats, in contemporary low-rise buildings, are surrounded by landscaped gardens and have private balconies or terraces. A path from the private gardens leads directly into the lovely Russia Dock Woodland, giving residents the best of both worlds — green space on the doorstep and endless shops, bars and restaurants a short distance away. 

Prices have yet to be confirmed, but expressions of interest are being taken now. Visit lqpricedin.co.uk for more.

On the up: Investment in homes and facilities - such as Quebec Quarter, pictured above - in Canada Water is turning the area into a hotspot for first-time buyers



3. Castilla
Elephant and Castle SE11

Dreary old  Elephant and Castle is in the process of jumbo regeneration. Gone is its hideous threatening network of underpasses, and on their way are thousands of new homes and a great selection of bars and restaurants. Get in on the action with housing association Peabody, which has one and two-bedroom flats in Castilla, a new building designed by starchitect Richard Rogers. 

The homes, some with views of the London Eye, are due to go on sale next month. 

Pricing has yet to be confirmed but registrations of interest are being taken now. Visit peabodysales.co.uk to find out more.

Jumbo regeneration: Elephant and Castle welcomes new shared-ownership homes (John Nassari)



4. Royal Albert Wharf
Royal Docks, E16

The vast expanses of the Royal Docks in east London are in the throes of a multibillion-pound regeneration. First-time buyer Tom O’Connor, 32, has bought in on the ground floor.

Tom, who works in the marketing department of a credit card company, bought a 40 per cent share in a two-bedroom flat at Royal Albert Wharf, a short walk from Gallions Reach Docklands Light Railway station, in October last year, paying Notting Hill Sales £178,000 and putting down £80,000 deposit. 

The first rug: Tom O'Connor lives at Royal Albert Wharf

“In my twenties I spent a lot of time at home with my parents so that I could save, and I also got a small loan from them,” he explains. His monthly costs now come in at about £1,100 a month including rent, service charge and mortgage. Finances aside, the best things about his new home, says Tom, are its water view and proximity to public transport. “I can get to my office in King’s Cross in less than an hour door-to-door, and I can get into central London so easily to visit friends.”

Right now the docks are a work in progress, but Tom is starting to see them develop into a proper neighbourhood. “Already a café and art gallery have gone in directly below my flat, so I’m really excited to see what else comes along over the next few years, and how the community develops,” he says.

Royal Albert Wharf has homes available now, from £105,000 for 25 per cent of a two-bedroom flat, or £136,250 for 25 per cent of a three-bedroom flat. Three-bedroom triplex flats start at £151,250 for a 25 per cent share. Visit nhillsales.com