One hundred and thirty-seven homes were snapped up in less than eight hours during Bellway Homes’ Help to Buy event on Thursday (23rd March). First-time buyers arrived as early as 6am to secure their place in the queue and their plot of choice at one of eight developments across London.
The feeling among those in the queue was very much that without the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme they would not be able to afford to get on the property ladder in the capital. This week, Haart’s Estates Agents, latest Market Monitor data also forecasted there were currently 10 buyers chasing every property on the market across England and Wales, so it was no surprise to Bellway Homes that so many people were waiting fingers crossed that they would get their plot of choice.
Families and young professionals were among those snapping up new homes with the Government-backed scheme. Apartments at Kent Wharf, a new development in up-and-coming Deptford, were the most popular with 31 homes secured on the day.
Purchaser, Joe Fitzsimmons, 25, decided to take half a day off work and arrive at 9am but was still 10th in the queue. He wanted to ensure he could secure a one-bedroom apartment at Kent Wharf. The fireman, who also works in a law firm, hopes to move in to the apartment later this year with his girlfriend. He said: “Without Help to Buy we would not be able to afford a home. We wanted a new build and I grew up in the area. Kent Wharf is close to Greenwich, which offers excellent entertainment and nightlife as well as great transport links.” Joe was able to secure the apartment that he wanted.
Other homes sold in the Thames Gateway and Essex region included 25 at Barking Riverside’s Caspian Quarter, 15 at Lansbury Square in Poplar and 10 at Elmington Green in Camberwell. First-time buyers Aly Rigby, 24, and Ed O’Connell, 25, were looking to secure a one bedroom apartment at Camberwell’sElmington Green development. Ella said: “We currently live in Brixton and feel Camberwell is much more appealing, especially as it is in Zone 2 and offers great transport links for work. The property value is also great, especially considering the close location to the centre of London.”
Across North London and Surrey homes sold included: 21 at Avedis in South Ruislip, 17 at Drayton Garden Village in West Drayton, 11 at Crossways in Slough and seven at Sovereign Place, Horley, Surrey. Couple, Stephen Goreham, 26 and Natalie Rockley, 23, secured a one bedroom apartment at Bellway’s West Drayton development, Drayton Garden Village. Stephen comments: “It’s a great location for us, close to work and family. Without London Help to Buy we would not be able to afford our own home and we still have time to save more money too before we move in.” Natalie added: “This exciting opportunity has helped us invest in our own home rather than paying rent.”
Bellway Homes has one of the largest Help to Buy portfolios in the capital. In the six months to the end of January 35% of sales were using the scheme, up from 29% in the same period the previous year.
Jason Honeyman, Southern Regional Chairman of Bellway, explains: “It is important that Londoners have a chance to get on the property ladder and with Help to Buy being offered across a number of our new developments, we are delighted to offer families and young professionals the means to achieve home ownership.
“We released many new homes available at a selection of our new sites across London at the event and potential purchasers were offered independent financial advice so they could see how affordable it can be. We are delighted that the event was so successful and that we could help so many people purchase their first home.”
The London Help to Buy scheme allows buyers to purchase with as little as a 5% deposit for up to 55% of the value of the home, Help to Buy offers buyers to purchase with an equity loan of 20%. The government will then provide an equity loan of up to 40% of the property’s value, which is interest free for the first five years.