London Home Show Guest Blog: Sharing is caring
Tuesday 14th March 2017
Today's guest blog is from Tim Seward Head of Property Sales at London Home Show Spring 2017 at Latimer:
First-time buyers struggling to raise enough cash for a deposit to buy a home of their own are increasingly turning to alternative ways of achieving the dream of home ownership.
Although shared ownership is by no means a new initiative – in fact it has been around since the early 1980s - it’s becoming more mainstream and an accepted part of the UK housing market. A recent report showed that the number of shared ownership purchases has risen by more than 130 per cent in six years.
At the same time, housing associations have ramped up the number of new homes being built for part-buy, part-rent. Statistics from the National Housing Group recently showed that this year the supply is expected to increase fourfold - 25,000 homes are likely to come to market compared to 6,911 in 2016.
Shared ownership is traditionally aimed at people on lower incomes who aspire to home ownership, but can’t afford to buy outright and need some help to bridge the affordability gap.
Usually it’s a government-funded initiative run by housing associations which means its regulated and the quality is normally on par with private developments – in many cases shared ownership schemes are actually part of a private development, the only difference being you normally buy between 25% and 75% to start with and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder.
Buyers normally have the option to buy the rest either in one go or in further shares (called staircasing) until you own 100%. So basically it’s simply a way of enabling you to buy in stages if you can’t afford the full price of a home in one go.
We are seeing more and more lenders supporting shared ownership and the choice of homes and lending products continues to grow, which can only be good news for aspiring homeowners. But apart from lowering upfront costs what are the other benefits of shared ownership and buying through a housing association?
Like any company operating in a commercial environment, housing associations aspire to build an excellent and desirable product that will sell, but they tend to do so with a social conscience.
Housing groups don’t have shareholders and tend to be non-profit making, so the funds they generate through shared ownership or private sale are often re-invested back into building more homes or providing services for the most vulnerable.
Housing associations are also in it for the long-term. While most developers generally move on as soon as the homes are sold and appoint a third party managing agent, housing associations will continue to manage homes after the purchase. In fact, housing associations often have their own dedicated aftercare team who are on hand to deal with any teething issues.
To find out more about shared ownership and Latimer’s latest developments visit: www.latimerhomes.com Our sales team will be exhibiting at this year’s London Home Show. Come and meet us on stand No 1. You can register for the London Home Show Spring 2017 here.
20th September 2017
Shared Ownership Week returns for its fifth year, 21st - 27th September. Shared Ownership week raises awareness this home ownership scheme which offers a life line to thousands of first time buyers.
19th September 2017
Countdown to the London Home Show Autumn 2017: Our sponsor Crest Nicholson give you the low down on their fantastic development Dylon Works, available via Help to Buy London.
18th September 2017
Countdown to the London Home Show Autumn 2017: Hear Marco and Olga's story about buying their first home for their young family with Notting Hill Sales.
16th September 2017
Countdown to the London Home Show Autumn 2017: L&Q's Lucy Chitty dispells some of the myths about home ownership.
FIRST STEPS is committed to the promotion of all types of accessible housing in London. We want to make the journey into your new home as simple as possible and to be sure that you know what to look for when searching for an affordable accessible home. All developments must be rated according to the type of accessibility they offer. That is why we have the following guide, based on the information provided in the Mayor of London's Accessible Housing Register, to help you understand what the rating of each property actually means.
A - Wheelchair Accessible Throughout
Meets the design standards from the Wheelchair Housing Design Guide which superseded the Housing Corporation wheelchair design standards. These properties have been designed to meet latest wheelchair accessible housing design standards, offering extra space and full access to all rooms and facilities. This standard provides more space than previous wheelchair housing design guidance and also ensures that all rooms are accessibly. In view of the high density of new build housing stock in London, the parking features have been excluded from this category. This will enable wheelchair accessible homes built above ground floor level to be categorised as such.
B - Wheelchair Accessible essential rooms
Complies with the Wheelchair Housing Design Guidance within the Housing Corporation Scheme Development Standards. Properties designed of adapted to provide access for wheelchair users to essential facilities of the property (that is, a bedroom, bathroom, toilet, living room and kitchen). Other rooms in the house such as additional bedrooms or bathrooms may not be wheelchair accessible.
C - Lifetime Homes
Meets the space standards of the Lifetime Homes developed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Designed to meet the space standards of Lifetime Homes. Main features include a level approach/entrance and wider doorways. This category will capture all new general needs housing built to Lifetime Homes standards. Properties achieving this category will not necessarily meet all Lifetime Homes design guidance as the LAHR framework does not assess features other than space and access. Properties may have an internal flight of stairs. If so, these will be wide enough to accommodate future provision of a stair lift subject to technical feasibility.
D - Easy Access
Compatible with the design standards in Mobility Standard Housing (1974) produced by the DoE and Housing Corporation Scheme Development Standards (pre-1999) and Part M of Building Regulations (2000). The main features of these properties include a level approach to the entrance, wider doorways and more space than in general needs housing. These properties may also have an internal flight of stairs and if so, there is enough space to accommodate future provision of a stair lift subject to technical feasibility.
E - Step Free
No published access design guidance. These are properties that are considered general needs housing but have a level approach/entrance into the property and throughout. Properties in this category that have an internal flight of stair will be likely to accommodate future provision of a stair lift subject to technical feasibility.
E+. Minimal steps
No published access design guidance. Properties that do not meet any accessibly housing design guidance and have a limited number of steps to enter the property. Properties in this category will have no more than four steps to access the front door and are likely to be ground floor properties or properties in a block with a lift and a small number of communal or property front door steps.
F - General Needs
General needs housing does not meet any of the above criteria. Properties in this category will have more than four steps or a ramp access that is steeper than 1:10 to access the property front door. These properties should be marketed with the number of steps to access the property as this will provide an additional factor for helping people choosing what to bid for.
The Accessible Housing Register captures the essential information which determines the category awarded to a property. Additional information is also collected. This includes:
- Details of major adaptations such as level access showers and stair lifts
- Private garden or balcony
- Proximity to local shops
- Proximity to public transport