Case Study: Millennials find a home at Harvard Gardens thanks to Shared Ownership

Millennials in the UK will spend an average of £53,000 in rent by the time they turn 30, according to a report by the Resolution Foundation. With many young people unable to buy their own property as they are paying so much in rent, increasing numbers are choosing to live with parents while they save. For those without this option, Shared Ownership offers an alternative, allowing purchasers to get on the ladder with a much smaller deposit.

Sam Flowers (29) and his girlfriend Ayesha Brown (26), both from London, were keen to move in together. As they wanted to buy rather than rent, they assumed it would be several more years until they had a large enough deposit. When they discovered Shared Ownership at L&Q’s Harvard Gardens development in Elephant and Castle, SE17, they were thrilled to find out that their own home in London was already within their reach.

Sam explains: “We’ve been together since 2011, but we were in in a long-distance relationship for a lot of that time. Ayesha was studying at university and I was based over 300 miles away with the RAF. It’s been a long-term goal for us to move in together, but we just weren’t sure when we would be able to afford to make it happen.”

“Once I left the RAF, I quickly started work as a bus driver in London and moved in with my dad in Elephant and Castle, so I was able to keep putting money away. Ayesha now works as a sales associate at Ralph Lauren, and was also living back with her parents, so she was able to start saving too. We were intending to save up a sizeable deposit but, unfortunately, my circumstances suddenly changed and due to his ill-health, I was unable to stay living with my dad.”

Sam continues: “I needed to find somewhere of my own at quite short notice, and, as I wanted to avoid renting, I started looking at places to buy. I wanted to stay around Elephant and Castle as it’s such an up-and-coming area, but when I started to view properties in the area I began to think it might be out of my reach. Then we found out that Shared Ownership was available at Harvard Gardens, and once we’d seen it, we decided it was perfect.”

Offering a contemporary collection of one and two-bedroom apartments and four-bedroom duplexes, Harvard Gardens is the much-anticipated third and final phase of Albany Place, L&Q’s award winning development of modern and stylish homes. Situated within easy walking distance of Elephant and Castle’s Zone 1 travel links and a fantastic variety of local amenities, the development appeals to professionals and families alike.

“As our deposit wasn’t as big as we’d hoped it would be, Shared Ownership was the ideal scheme for us. We could never have bought a property so close to central London without it. We were originally looking to purchase a one-bedroom apartment, but then we were told that we could actually afford two bedrooms. We were so pleased and chose to go ahead and buy the two-bedroom apartment, as it means we won’t need to move if we decide to start a family.”

Shared Ownership means that buyers can purchase between 25% and 75% of the property, paying subsidised rent on the remainder, and can increase their share over time all the way up to 100%. Through Shared Ownership, Sam and Ayesha were able to purchase a 30% share of their two-bedroom apartment at Harvard Gardens, based on the full market value of £545,000. This means they now pay £799 a month towards their mortgage, £170 a month in rent, and a £189 monthly service charge.

All of the properties at Harvard Gardens enjoy a high quality, contemporary specification, including fully fitted kitchens and modern bathroom suites. Ayesha comments: “I’m really happy that we found a new build property within our budget, as we’re not really DIY people! The apartment is a really good size, especially the living areas, so we can comfortably stay here for the foreseeable future. It also has a private balcony, which we’ve decked out with a table and chairs to make the most of the warmer weather.”

Properties at Harvard Gardens

“The location is really great; I can’t believe how close we are to central London. There are fabulous views of the London skyline from around the development. The transport links are fantastic too, so my commute to Regent Street only takes 30 minutes. And, as the nearest transport links are in Zone 1, it also costs me much less than it did when I was living with my parents.”

Currently undergoing a £3billion regeneration programme, Elephant and Castle will soon boast a newly-designed town centre, green spaces, market square and upgraded transport hub. Ayesha says: “The regeneration happening in the area is really exciting, and as we’re hoping to be here for several years to come, we should benefit from the boost to property prices when the work is complete.”

​Prices for one-bedroom apartments start from £103,125 for a 25% share of the full market value of £420,000. Prices for a two-bedroom apartment start from £145,625 for a 25% share of the full market value of £582,500. The four-bedroom duplexes are priced at £885,000, available with stamp duty paid. For more information, please visit or call 03330 033 640.