London Home Show Countdown: Savills

Expert advice for first time buyers from the team at Savills

In order to find out more about buying a first home, we interviewed two of our experts at Savills to get their opinions of Help to Buy and Shared Ownership, plus explore any tips for getting onto the property ladder.

Can you tell us a bit about your team and what you do?

Flavia: Our team of sales consultants work as a centralised point for buyers looking in London for a new home. We can be a one stop shop and are able to introduce you to many different developments all over London that offer Help to Buy in your desired price range. This ends up saving you time searching for individual options online. We can offer practical advice based on your requirements as to what development would work best for you. We are happy to answer any questions you may have on the Help to Buy scheme and can also recommend brokers if you need advice from an independent financial advisor.

Dean: Sounds like a cliché, but I’m going to use the word ‘experts’ from the get-go. Our team of Shared Ownership experts have a portfolio of new homes across London from multiple developers, so we can offer choice, style and budget tailored to suit our buyers. With a thorough understanding of the process and close working relationships with site-dedicated independent financial advisors, the team take the guesswork out of buying a new home.

Shared Ownership enables people to get on the property ladder with a lower deposit than buying on the open market or with Help to Buy, by allowing them to purchase a share of the property, and pay rent on the remaining share. The share of the property available to purchase is between 25% and 75%, and you will usually pay a mortgage on the part you own and a subsidised rent on the part you don’t own yet. As time goes on and your income rises, you are able to increase your share of the property until you eventually own 100% and no longer pay any rent.

We like to eliminate the surprises, and disappointments, from buying a property and enable people on the lower incomes with smaller deposits to own a home in London.

How has the pandemic changed what buyers are looking for?

Flavia: The pandemic has forced people to spend a lot more time indoors than perhaps we would have liked! This has really shone a light on the importance of creating a comfortable live/work balance in our homes and has encouraged us to focus on how we want to live. We are finding that people are prioritising internal and external space over central locations. Typically in London, the further out you look, the more you can get for your money and we are finding that two bedroom apartments with some outside space have become increasingly popular in locations that offer the best of London living – an easy commute to Zone 1 with plenty of green space on offer too.

Dean: With more time being spent at home, we’ve all reassessed what we require from our homes in terms of more space and fresh, upgraded interiors. Luckily many Shared Ownership developments offer the same specification and finish as the private sale apartments, and we see people achieving that extra bedroom they’ve dreamed of but couldn’t afford on the open market.

Internal photography of a Savills show home - Shared Ownership and Help to Buy homes available on Share to Buy

Describe your average work day in three words?

Flavia: Diverse. Engaging. Proactive.

Dean: Caffeinated. Diverse. Rewarding.

What advice would you give to first time buyers?

Flavia: Make a priority list of what is important to you – there will likely end up being a compromise that is needed but working out your priorities from the start will make the process a lot easier.

Dean: Don’t be afraid to let your agent or negotiator know exactly what you’re looking for and your budget – you might be surprised what else they can offer.

Which property would you recommend to someone looking to buy their first home?

Flavia: I would recommend that first time buyers hone in on what is really important to them and then when you do find a property that is right for you, don’t wait too long to make a decision as the market does move quickly and properties with Help to Buy are so popular, especially in London.

Dean: Notting Hill Genesis are offering spacious apartments with high specification and huge views across London in the heart of Canary Wharf. Made all the more attractive with reduced rent on the portion you don’t own and only a 10 minute walk across the wharf to the tube, DLR and all the shops – I’m so glad you asked this question, I was so impressed when I visited the show homes and saw the views that I considered it myself!

To find out more about Savills, our teams and our properties please check out and visit us at the London Home Show at stand 10.

Shared Ownership – email or call 020 7704 5618

Help to Buy – email or call 020 7409 8756

The capital’s no.1 first time buyer event is returning to the QEII Centre in Westminster on Saturday 18th September! Register for your FREE ticket to the London Home Show to find out more about Shared Ownership, Help to Buy and the buying process.