Notting Hill Genesis: Kent renters become city homeowners with Shared Ownership

For many buyers, the biggest challenge in getting onto the property ladder is saving for a deposit, keeping aspiring buyers in a rut of renting for the foreseeable future. Eager buyers, Stevie and Krupa Howlett managed to buck this trend by purchasing their first home at Traders’ Quarter at Royal Wharf, E16 using the Shared Ownership scheme through leading developer, Notting Hill Genesis.

36-year-old Business Development Manager, Stevie Howlett explains: “We had been renting in Greenhithe, Kent for six years, although the village we were in was nice, there just wasn’t much of a community, not many amenities nearby and our commute into London was almost two hours each way every day. We then received a call telling us that our landlord was giving us notice, so we decided rather than carrying on renting we wanted to see if we could buy our own home. We looked into using the Help to Buy scheme, and even though we had managed to save a substantial sum of money over the years, it wasn’t enough to buy. Both of us aren’t getting any younger and realised that I could be almost 40 and still not on the property ladder! That’s when we looked at the Shared Ownership scheme and found Traders’ Quarter via the Share to Buy website. It soon became very obvious that this was definitely the scheme for us, we ticked all the boxes in terms of criteria, how much deposit we needed, and it meant we could potentially own a home a lot sooner than we first thought.”

Stevie continues: “We had considered a few different developments in Kent and London, but we both liked Traders’ Quarter – we love the community feel here and as it is part of the Royal Wharf regeneration, there is so much that will be coming over the next few years. We love the fact we are on the river overlooking the Thames Barrier, and we are also really close to places like Green Street where there’s a thriving Asian community, and also Stratford where there is loads happening right now and links to central London couldn’t be easier. We purchased a one bedroom apartment on the third floor, we were renting a two bedroom home but we actually have more space here! We have a big bedroom, there is small study room and a huge open-plan lounge/diner and kitchen and there is lots of storage space.”

“The specification of the Shared Ownership apartments at Traders’ Quarter is outstanding, even compared to some of the Help to Buy properties we had visited, the specification we have got in our apartment is excellent, we just couldn’t believe we could have this type of home using Shared Ownership.  We have got some fantastic facilities here too – there is a new High Street where they are ensuring there are small independent shops, a gym, swimming pool and a hydro pool, as Krupa has a disability this was a big plus for us. Normally we would have to travel to an expensive gym to be able to access a facility like a hydro pool, but here it is all part of the service charge, and even better it’s on our doorstep.”

Stevie continues: “By living here, we have cut our commutes down to just 40 minutes door to door, which has been amazing! When we were living in Kent, we just wouldn’t have even attempted to travel into London at the weekend. Now we are here, Pontoon Dock DLR station is a few minutes from the development, that connects us to the Jubilee Line which makes getting around so much easier. We regularly have friends over to us and enjoy drinks together on our balcony. London City Airport is one stop away, great for a weekend getaway, The O2 and the ExCel are all really close to us. We really have bought into the lifestyle that Traders’ Quarter offered us and life isn’t such an ordeal anymore.”

Stevie explains: “We purchased a 30% share, priced at £148,500 and put down a deposit of £7,425. We considered our monthly outgoings and worked out we could save around £350 per month in commuting costs, and instead put this money towards the new property. As a monthly total including our rent, mortgage payment and service charge we aren’t paying out any more than we were renting in Kent. The Shared Ownership scheme gave us access to buying a property with a full market value of £495,000 – there is just no way we would have been able to access a property like this without it. We will definitely be staying here for the next few years and have already been planning on staircasing in the future.”

Speaking about Shared Ownership: “This scheme is great, it allows people, like us, to get on the property ladder with a much smaller deposit than they are probably anticipating. It has given us access to a standard of property we could only have dreamed of, we literally walk around here pinching ourselves that this is our home. Without Shared Ownership there is no way we could own a home like this, and we would rather own a share of something than not at all. The whole process was really smooth, from meeting the sales team at Traders’ Quarter and liaising with Notting Hill Genesis, everyone was really responsive and made everything really simple, not daunting at all. We couldn’t be happier.”

Traders’ Quarter is part of the 40-acre riverside development of Royal Wharf, delivering a collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments within a vibrant new neighbourhood, featuring a concierge service, health club, shops, cafes, open spaces, 3,500 homes and a new pier and promenade on the River Thames. The wider Silvertown area is the focus of an extensive programme of regeneration that will see a dynamic district come to life. Across the whole Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, there is the potential for 35,000 new jobs and more than £5 billion of inward investment in the next 20 years.

Prices at Traders’ Quarter start from £120,625 for a 25% share of a one bedroom apartment valued at £482,500. For more information, visit the website: or contact Notting Hill Genesis on 020 3815 1234 to book your viewing.

Notting Hill Genesis are a featured developer on the Share to Buy website. For more information about Notting Hill Genesis and the properties they have available, please visit here.