Before Covid changed everything, video editor Steve Ward, 28, was renting in east London but he left to move in with his mum during lockdown.
Without rent, travel expenses or socialising to fork out on, plus a refund on a big trip he’d booked to America and Canada, he saved a deposit of over £15,300 towards his first home.
This secured a smart shared ownership studio apartment at Union Walk in The Green Quarter in up-and-coming Southall, a scheme from Latimer by Clarion Housing.
By using shared ownership, aspiring owners who can’t afford to buy outright purchase a share, currently between 25% and 75% of the full market price, though the minimum is due to drop to 10%.
They only have to find a deposit for the part they own, which is covered via a mortgage, and pay rent to a housing association on the balance, with the option to buy more shares later on.
‘There’s no way I could have afforded full market value in London, but a short commute was a priority for me and something I didn’t want to compromise on,’ says Steve. ‘New York won’t be the same experience for a while yet, so this seemed like the obvious thing to do.’
With work based in Holborn, friends in Southampton plus a busy social life, Southall’s accessibility is proving a great lifestyle choice. ‘I go to a lot of gigs and it’s super-easy to get to Shepherd’s Bush. And I support Blackburn Rovers and have been to more away games than ever since I’ve lived here,’ he says.
The appeal of a new build was also a major factor. ‘It’s shiny and new and although it’s a studio, partition walls separate the bedroom area and kitchen/living space. I took an apartment on the top floor because the views are really just incredible.
‘I can see Wembley Stadium and the silhouette of the city. I was able to choose between a balcony where I could see the sunrise or one that enjoyed the sunset. I opted for the sunrise and I love to sit with a coffee in the morning. Balcony furniture was one of my first purchases!’
Do the maths: How Steve was able to afford his shared ownership flat
(for a one-bedroom flat)
Full market price: £319,000
25% share: £79,750
Minimum deposit: £3,988
Service charge: £179 per month
Rent: £548 per month
Mortgage: £310 per month
Monthly spend: £1,037
At twice the size of Hyde Park, The Green Quarter is one of the capital’s biggest regeneration projects.
Latimer’s shared ownership apartments are situated within the Southall Waterside development which will include two new parks, access to 90-acre Minet Country Park, shops, restaurants and a proposed cinema.
One and two-bedroom flats are available, from £79,750 for a 25% share of full market price £319,000, unionwalk.com
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