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The idea of buying a brand new home appeals to most people, but with property prices increasing again, many prospective homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers, are being priced out of the market.
A reduction in the number of mortgage products available to homebuyers without a sizeable deposit is making it even harder to get a foot on the property ladder.
However, there is help at hand, thanks to the wide range of low-cost property buying initiatives now available, including private and government-backed shared ownership and shared equity affordable housing schemes.
Housebuilders, housing associations and councils all offer affordable homes through various schemes including, New Build HomeBuy, HomeBuy Direct and the First Time Buyers' Initiative, among others.
Any individual or couple who collectively earns under £60,000 per year, including first-time buyers, key workers, people on council housing waiting lists, those re-entering the property market following a change in circumstances such as divorce and families needing more room, are theoretically all eligible to buy an affordable home.
New Build HomeBuy: This part-buy, part-rent initiative allows people to buy a minimum 25 percent share in a new home, and then pay a subsidised rent on the housing association's share of the property. Homebuyers can buy further shares, up to 100 percent of the property's value.
HomeBuy Direct: This shared equity model allows people own the whole property from day one - but only pay between 70 and 85 percent of the purchase price upfront, thanks to an equity loan from the housebuilder or housing association. Homebuyers can start purchasing the remaining shares in instalments after one year. But with funding ending in September, you'll need to act fast, before it is too late.
First Time Buyers' Initiative: This option, which provides an equity loan of up to 50 percent, interest-free for three years, is offered to first-time buyers by housebuiders on selected new homes. Buyers can acquire additional shares at a later date.
Redrow Homes has just sold the last of their shared equity homes at The Lemonade Building in Barking Central, reflecting strong demand for the scheme. One bedroom apartments in this colourful development were available from £94,500, under the HomeBuy Direct initiative.
Swan Housing Group has launched a new development in Basildon, SS14, featuring a selection of new homes available for shared ownership, as part of the regeneration of Craylands. Prices have not yet been announced.
Thames Valley Housing is offering a selection of affordable new homes at Magdalen Road in Earlsfield, SW18. There are just 10 spacious one and two-bedroom apartments available through the New Build HomeBuy initiative, with prices starting from £87,500 for a 35% share of a one-bedroom apartment.
Family Mosaic is offering first-time buyers a fantastic opportunity to live in the iconic Strata tower in Elephant and Castle on a part-buy, part-rent basis from just £53,125 for a 25 percent share. The 42 storey tower is set to be the tallest residential tower in Central London. It is also the first development in the world to integrate wind turbines into the fabric of the building which have been designed to bring energy costs down.
L&Q Housing Association recently launched Phase Two of Southbury Road, Ponders End, Enfield, EN3, featuring a selection of one to three bedroom apartments for sale through a part buy, part rent scheme. Prices start from £70,000 for a 45 percent stake, with rent of 254.40 per calendar month (pcm) payable on the remaining 55 percent share.
Genesis Homes has built The Campus, on Kilburn High Road, NW6. There are a few one-bedroom flats, with pricing starting from £38,750 for a 25 percent share, with £404pcm payable in rent.
Barratt Homes is currently offering purchasers in Stourport, West Midlands, the chance to buy a brand new affordable home under the HomeBuy Direct scheme at its Waters Edge development on Mart Lane. The development features a selection of one and two bedroom apartments priced from £121,200 and three bedroom houses priced from £207,000.