Award Categories 2020
Private Developer of the Year
This award will focus not only on the design and quality of the properties built, but also on all aspects of the developers performance.
Barratt Developments is Britain’s largest and best-known housebuilder. Taking its commitment to first time buyers very seriously, approximately 40% of the 17,856 homes that it built last year were bought by those looking to get on the property ladder.
By embracing schemes like Help to Buy, Barratt has made it possible for thousands of first time buyers to afford to buy five-star quality properties they can be proud to call home. Barratt is the only major national housebuilder to achieve the maximum 5 Star rating in the HBF Homebuilder Survey for customer satisfaction for 10 consecutive years.
With a vision to lead the future of housebuilding by putting customers at the heart of everything it does, Barratt’s goal is to deliver more of the homes the country needs while maintaining the highest standards of quality, design and customer service.
This year, Countryside delivered sector-leading growth whilst continuing to support its customers. Countryside’s target customers are first-time buyers, with 90% of its private completions in 2019 made at price points below £600,000.
A 33% increase in completions to 5,733 homes led to adjusted revenue of £1,422.8m in the 12 months to 30 September 2019, with adjusted operating profit increasing by 11%. Countryside’s customer satisfaction rating is equivalent to that of a five-star HBF builder, with 92.5% of customers saying they would recommend Countryside to a friend.
Confirming its reputation for quality product, Countryside claimed the Graham Pye Award at the 2019 Housing Design Awards, in addition to several award shortlistings. Onsite, Countryside’s 2019 Accident Injury Incident Rate was below the industry average (by 44%) for the sixteenth consecutive year. In 2019, Countryside introduced mental health first aiders training, as part of its continued drive to support employees, contractors and visitors.
As an established land professional and housebuilding business, delivering sites across southern England for residential and mixed use, Inland Homes has enjoyed an exceptional year. The company is starting to deliver larger than average site sizes and is now established as a respected housebuilder, enabling full control of developments and ensuring a high build quality, which in turn maximises values.
As a socially responsible housebuilder, all our developments use sustainable systems for energy efficiency, water management and pollution reduction, complementing our ethos to deliver high-quality homes which suit today’s lifestyle and enhance the environment in which people live.
We take pride in ensuring the smoothness of the customer journey, from initial contact with our knowledgeable sales staff, all through the buying process to final completion. Our customer service team resolves issues with empathy, and relationships with homeowners continue after completion. Feedback is used to improve the design of homes, with layouts continually reviewed to suit customer’s needs. As a result, many Inland purchasers have recommended developments to others and bought more than one property from the company.
The safety of our staff, contractors and the communities we operate in is our utmost priority. In August the Group achieved two million man-hours with no reportable incidents and our year end Accident Frequency Rate stands at 0.12.
Family-owned company, Martin Grant Homes, has built a reputation for quality, attention to detail and delivering the exemplary customer experience. MD, Chris Hamilton, has introduced initiatives including transforming the “customer journey”; to provide the best possible service and experience, especially for first-time buyers.
Martin Grant Homes prides itself on offering an affordable home for first-time buyers. Buckton Fields in Northampton is just one example; providing an opportunity to purchase an affordable three-bedroom home.
Homes offer a traditional feel, but are designed to suit the lifestyles of busy, tech-savvy, first-time buyers with flexible living spaces, integrated appliances and rooms pre-wired for Sky Q. Homes are also designed with a ‘Fabric First’ approach resulting in lower energy bills for the eco-conscious buyer.
From selecting mortgage brokers and solicitors, assisting on the design and finish, offering home demonstrations to its aftercare programme; Martin Grant Homes go the extra mile to support first time-buyers.
Affordable Housing Provider of the Year
This award will go to an organisation that has shown innovation in the way they design, build and market their properties as well as offering a variety of services which can help first time buyers on to the property ladder.
Putting communities and first time buyers at the heart of everything it does, L&Q is one of the UK’s most innovative social businesses, with an ambition to deliver 100,000 homes (of which at least 50% will be affordable).
From creating cutting edge homes designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects, to delivering eco homes in Erith, the organisation places an emphasis on innovation for first time buyers.
Consistently upping its game in terms of specifiation, L&Q creates the best quality homes for first time buyers, as mixologist Amélie Diaz, who bought a 35% share in a property at Weavers Quarter, Barking, notes, “I like everything about my new apartment. When I go to work, I can’t wait to get back home, because I feel so comfortable here.”
Customer care and communication continues to be a key focus for L&Q. In 2019, the brand new L&Q Homes website was launched; the home of first time buying. The website showcases available properties and gives encyclopaedic insight into both shared ownership and Help to Buy, ensuring buyers can make truly informed decisions on their route into homeownership.
Metropolitan Thames Valley (MTVH), one of the UK’s leading affordable housing providers, owns, manages or administers 57,000 homes. At a time of chronic housing need, it is now focused on setting up innovative partnerships to provide more affordable homes.
It delivered 1,037 new homes last year, 55% of which were shared ownership properties to help first time buyers get on the property ladder. Over the next five years it has ambitious plans to provide a further 3,915 homes.
As a pioneer of shared ownership, MTVH offers high-quality homes in popular locations including sought-after commuting towns. Its SO Resi brand is dedicated to making shared ownership easy to understand and more accessible, while its unique Shared Ownership PLUS scheme makes it simple for owners to buy more shares in their home. A new customer experience strategy, introduced last year, is enhancing customer care through more efficient systems and greater transparency.
A medium-sized organisation driven by a social conscience, Origin Housing prides itself on being large enough to have a big impact, but small enough to maintain its personal touch and impeccable customer service.
Another successful year, 2019 saw the organisation continue to transform the lives of residents, local people and first time buyers across London and Hertfordshire.
Delivering more and more homes for first time buyers, Origin plans to ramp up its development to deliver 1,100 new homes by 2022, with an impressive 600 of these homes under construction this year. True to the organisation’s socially minded roots, an emphasis is placed on affordability, with private sale homes priced to be accessible to first time buyers.
Demonstrating an excellent after sales and customer service, over the last financial year Origin once again received a 100% satisfaction rate from its new build customers, and has developed a new dedicated engagement strategy to better communicate with potential buyers and residents.
We’re known for being the affordable homes specialist in the North West and our customers are at the heart of everything we do – we’re proud to help many first time buyers each year find their perfect home.
We have recently enabled 193 customers to step on to the property ladder and a further 76 customers have purchased more shares to continue their journey to full homeownership. Since March 2019, we’ve also achieved 232 reservations across our tenures.
With over 20 years’ experience delivering quality new homes through shared ownership, we have established ourselves as industry leaders. As well as selling our shared ownership homes, our specialist team also sells on behalf of local authorities, housing associations and our market sale team using Help to Buy. We provide expert advice and share our skills and knowledge to help more customers step on to the property ladder and help fix the housing crisis.
Best Small Development
This award will be looking for small developments that have used the best design and quality to create desirable, affordable and inspiring environments in which people wish to set up their first home. This award is for schemes fewer than 30 homes.
An exclusive development of 16 homes on the site of a disused hotel in the village of Hawkhurst in Kent, Bellway’s Hawksview sets the standard for small housing developments.
Located within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it combines exceptional design with a carefully considered mix of housing types, delivering a high standard of build and high-specification finish for first time buyers and upsizing families alike.
More than that, it has helped to revitalise this area of rural Kent, replacing a hotel building and gardens which had fallen into a state of disrepair and contributing significantly to local affordable housing provision and community facilities.
Bellway’s vision for Hawksview was to bring forward a development which would create a community of its own, whilst contributing to the wider community in which it sits. With a mix of housing types for all buyers, it has more than achieved this vision.
You’ll find Deepdale located on a former site where two semi-detached houses once stood. Through clever use of space and economical use of the large plots behind the previous houses – this development has magically converted two houses into nine!
Deepdale is a mixed tenure development consisting of five 3-bed houses available to buy through Shared Ownership and four 2-bed apartments for Affordable Rent, two of which have been adapted and built to specification.
At the head of a cul-de-sac where the previous houses stood now you’ll find nine homes with off-road parking and gardens in this popular residential area where there is very little supply of new build activity and low-cost ownership options.
This development has transformed an infill site of grassland that had been left unused and dovetailing a brand new collection of homes into the local community around Deepdale Avenue opening up new opportunities and possibilities where none could be seen before. The development has been extremely popular and no marketing was needed to promote the properties.
In 2017 Housing People, Building Communities (HPBC) was gifted St Bernard’s church and land adjacent to our completed Kingsley Rd affordable housing project by the RC Archdiocese.
Working in partnership with Onward Housing to redevelop the site, 16 homes were completed in December 2019. The gothic style church, designed by architects Pugin & Pugin and built in 1901, is a landmark in the local area and one of the few surviving Victorian buildings on the street. It was also an important part of the community holding cherished memories for many.
By completing 500 hours of “sweat equity” home partners earned £10k towards their deposit and with shared ownership mortgages these attractive homes were truly affordable for families wishing to become first time buyers. By using an innovative approach, retaining the integrity of the building, and home partners working together the church has been repurposed and a vibrant new community developed.
Rosalind Franklin House is a unique, small but perfectly formed development of six Shared Ownership homes, standing at the heart of a large scale heritage based redevelopment at Hampstead Manor.
Situated in one of London’s greenest and most high value quarters it offers a unique opportunity for local working people, who would otherwise be priced out of the property market, to be able to take a first step towards home ownership.
A beautifully designed development overlooking the green which forms the heart of the development, Rosalind Franklin House is perfectly placed to involve residents in the new community’s vibrant social life, as well as being built to an enviable ecological specification, making it the ideal home for life.
Winns Avenue, located in Walthamstow, is conveniently situated in a peaceful residential setting, offering first time buyers fast access to central London. The former warehouse and service yard has been redesigned by Regenta Development to offer a sustainable community of nine one- and two-bedroom apartments, with a focus on young professionals.
With a selection of modern homes available to purchase using the Government-backed Help to Buy equity loan scheme, first time buyers are discovering that outer boroughs of London will offer them better value for money without having to face a lengthy commute.
Winns Avenue offers each apartment its own private grassed and decked garden area, secure cycle storage to encourage sustainable living, and energy-efficient features throughout the build. The development is within a mile from tube and National Rail stations Walthamstow Central and Blackhorse Road, both of which are on the London Overground and Victoria lines.
Preston Road is the exceptional £5 million period re-development of two stunning Victorian Villas in the heart of Brighton into a collection of truly unique first time buyer homes.
Set in a sought-after enclave of the affluent seaside town, where there is an acute shortage of affordable home ownership options, the boutique development from Southern Home Ownership – the Shared Ownership arm of Southern Housing Group – will restore the Villas, originally built on the site in 1870, housing 20 new Shared Ownership homes.
Through extensive consultation with the local council, Southern Home Ownership identified a local demand for high-quality alternative home ownership properties. Designed by leading architects Yelo, Preston Road offers the highest quality of design and build for first time buyers.
Set within the Preston Park conservation area, Southern Home Ownership have ensured a sensitive restoration of the villas, retaining many of the original period features. A number of mature trees are also being preserved; respecting the site’s history and the existing neighbourhood.
Best Large Development
This award is for developments of more than 80 homes that have used the best design and quality to create an affordable, desirable and inspirational environment and that has provided additional facilities to benefit the local community and surrounding neighbourhoods. These homes are on large developments in a mixed-tenure environment or stand-alone developments.
Historically in an area that were the hunting grounds of King Henry VIII, the vision for Beaulieu was to create a vibrant new integrated community for the city of Chelmsford, bringing together 3,600 quality new homes in a range of styles to suit different tastes, preferences and income levels.
Beaulieu is a perfect destination for young couples or families, offering four distinct residential neighbourhoods. These range from traditional, colonial style through to über-modern, meaning there’s a home to suit all tastes. The neighbourhoods making up the development are: Beaulieu Keep, Beaulieu Chase, Beaulieu Heath and Beaulieu Oaks.
The homes are designed around 180 acres of green open spaces, ranging from formal parks, village greens and community gardens to natural meadows plus an orchard. These green open spaces connect the new Beaulieu neighbourhoods and give residents a wealth of choice for outdoor activities, improving their health and well-being.
For most people, the idea of owning a new home overlooking the River Thames would be an expensive dream. But Optivo’s Waterway, Riverside Quarter, development is turning that dream into an affordable reality.
Situated in one of the most sought after destinations in the capital are 93 luxurious apartments, including 22 one bedroom apartments (average floor area of 720sqft or 67sqm) and 71 two bedroom apartments (averaging 791 sqft or 73.4sqm).
This stunning collection of Shared Ownership homes in Wandsworth have been made available to buyers with household incomes starting from £45,000. The percentage rent charged on unsold equity starts from as low as 0.5%. The stylish homes set the standard for spacious living; meaning people in the local community can take their first step onto the property ladder and own their own little bit of London. Waterway offers premium living, in a thriving new community, at an affordable price.
Lu2on is a mixed-use development coming up in London’s commuter belt town Luton. 877 apartments (suites, 1-bed, 2-bed units) are spread across 3 towers.
Facilities include 49,600 sqft retail space, 8,000 sqft gym, 24-hrs concierge, restaurants and bars, secure parking, large public realm (10,000 sqm), convention centre, roof and courtyard gardens, star hotel (200+ rooms) and provisions have been made to include supermarket, childcare and pharmacy.
Spread across 6.9 acres, it is among the largest mixed-use developments in the UK focusing on first-time buyers (FTBs). The development is located just 2 mins walk to the Luton Airport Parkway Railway Station, which connects to King’s Cross, St. Pancras, Central London, in just 23 minutes. Lu2on offers London lifestyle homes but at prices achievable to FTBs. Phase 1 of Lu2on will be completed by Q2 2021.
Best First Time Buyer Family Home
This award is for a family starter home which is affordable for a first time buyer. It should offer a comfortable environment, at a realistic price which is ideal for family living.
Plot 291 at Upton Gardens is the latest release at Barratt London’s E13 development. Built on the old West Ham Football club, the four-bedroom, split level, family home can be purchased for under £600,000, equating to just a £30,000 deposit with London Help to Buy.
A clever solution to sleek family living, the triplex home also includes a large family bathroom, downstairs toilet and master en-suite, a large open plan kitchen-diner and two private ground floor terraces.
The development includes access to family play areas, a proposed on-site café and acres of community space. The zone three location is ideal for commuting parents, with a short journey into central London within 15 minutes and safe cycle links to the City. Furthermore, St Edward’s Primary School is right on the doorstop, rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
For families seeking an affordable place to put down roots, Lavender Walk in Carshalton, Surrey ticks all of the boxes with excellent schools nearby, plenty of green spaces and easy rail links into central London.
Here first time buyers have been able to take advantage of the rare opportunity to secure a spacious three-bedroom house within a London Borough through Clarion’s shared ownership scheme. Bordered by the River Wandle, this is part of a tranquil and sought-after neighbourhood within an established development, providing an inviting, readymade community for families to join.
There are safe, green spaces for children to play and several parks and play areas already created. The three-bedroom home was priced at £131,875 for a 25% share, with a full market value of £527,000, representing a highly attainable opportunity for first time buyers to get on the property ladder in this popular and family friendly South London borough.
Set between historic Bishop’s Stortford and Braintree, Great Dunmow is a market town steeped in heritage. Many of its beautiful buildings date back hundreds of years and its high street is one of the few where most shops are still independent.
With picturesque setting surrounded by rolling countryside, with excellent transport links, and lots to do on the doorstep, it’s the perfect place to put down roots.
These homes are traditionally built with brick and concrete block materials. With traditional kitchen diners and the option to have a separate living room. The shared ownership solution, with 40% share purchase option, has provided an affordable option in this sought-after area.
This enables families to stay in their local area which may otherwise be outside of their budget. All homes were reserved within a couple of weeks of being marketed. It is a family friendly development for a growing family.
Birnam Mews is a collection of 60 family homes in the verdant village of Tiddington, Warwickshire, just outside Stratford-upon-Avon. The eco-friendly development is built around traditional family-friendly street-scenes, interspersed with pockets of greenery.
Surrounded by publicly accessible fields, the new homes feel like a natural extension of the local village community, marrying green space with the distinctive architectural language of Stratford-upon-Avon. Available in 10 different layouts and designs, from one-bedroom quarter houses to detached four-bedroom family homes, Birnam Mews offers the unique mix of housing to create the true community feel that families seek.
An impressive 50% of homes can be purchased with Help to Buy, and five two and three-bedroom houses are available through Shared Ownership, exclusively for first-time buyers from Stratford-upon-Avon. Priced affordably without compromising on quality, premium fixtures, fittings and appliances come as standard, ensuring that there’s no hidden costs for families.
Located within the County known as the Garden of England, Conningbrook Lakes by Latimer is located on the edge of Ashford in Kent, within the beautiful family-orientated nature reserve of Conningbrook Country Park.
Offering a high-quality collection of homes, the development, which offers the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, gives first time buyers the opportunity to own an affordable family home on the edge of some of England’s most beautiful countryside. Bluebell, the show home is a stunning four-bedroom family home that has been meticulously designed with 21st century family living in mind.
Enjoying a peaceful and tranquil position overlooking the lake, this family property delivers a luxurious and stylish interior specification, complemented by well-proportioned and flexible accommodation.
Surrounded by lush green gardens and nestled next to properties of Victorian and Regency era, Stonelea Gardens is a stylish and energy efficient collection of three and four-bedroom townhouses located in vibrant Leyton, East London.
Built to meet the needs of the modern family, all houses feature generously sized gardens – some with rooftop patios – on-site private parking, and free daytime electricity via the solar photovoltaic system. Offering real affordability to families, buyers required a deposit 80% less than the average first-time buyer deposit requirement in London.
Beautifully centred around a new village green, the houses are in close proximity to Central London; just 10 minutes’ walk from Leyton Underground Station. Bordering Langthorne Park and additional picturesque green spaces, including the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park within walking distance, means the choice of a vibrant neighbourhood or a quiet oasis is one families didn’t have to make – Stonelea Gardens offers both.
Best First Time Buyer Apartment
This award is for an apartment suitable for a first time buyer which is affordable and also offers excellent design fair inside and out.
Apt Living’s Kew Bridge development provides a design-led collection of 213 studio, one and two bedroom apartments overlooking Gunnersbury Park. With innovative, space-saving layouts and a high specification, Apt Living has created affordable homes for the aspirational first time buyer.
All residents benefit from a wide range of amenities including a 24-hour dedicated concierge, gym, cinema, bike storage, private parking and roof terraces, as well as a dedicated Apt Living app. The apartments or ‘apts’ all boast three metre average ceiling heights, adding to the sense of space, combined with an intelligent design to maximise the striking views across 180-acres of Gunnersbury Park.
Starting from £270,000, the homes are also excellent value for money in a sought-after location where affordable first time buyer options are otherwise limited. All are also available through Help to Buy, giving first time buyers an added boost.
The White Building is an exemplary transformation of an iconic wartime factory into a range of spacious art deco styled apartments in Basingstoke, Hampshire. The development is appealing to first time buyers as it offers a stylish and spacious apartment with a sense of history available with purchasing schemes.
Bright and oversized windows, striking art deco features, plenty of storage and no corners cut when it comes to quality, this building presents a fantastic opportunity to buyers looking to own their first home. Plot 523 is an incredible two bedroom apartment for £349,995 which offers a superb home with quality finishes, characterful features and spacious rooms.
A contemporary home with a colourful history, the apartment provides modern living in an historic setting. Available with Help to Buy, affordability is key at The White Building and is the reason so many first time buyers are able to secure their first home.
Positioned in Burnt Oak, an undiscovered pocket of affordability in North West London, Neon by Catalyst is an exceptional collection of 76 one, two and three-bedroom apartments – 46 of which are available through shared ownership.
With first time buyers able to purchase a home with a deposit from just £6,550, Neon is providing both local residents and those new to the area with the opportunity to become homeowners in a high-specification, stylish development, with contemporary apartments that outsize the Mayor of London’s minimum size standards by up to 46%.
Providing sought-after outdoor space, each home has a balcony, while a south-west facing communal podium garden creates a green oasis in the heart of development. An impressive 70% of the shared ownership homes offer two or three bedrooms, offering families, and couples looking to start a family, fantastic opportunities to become homeowners in an area overflowing with great schools.
Plot 59 is a stunning first floor apartment that offers the enjoyment of hotel style living through contemporary design. Internally, this open plan apartment features a light-filled living area which provides a flexible space for both relaxing and entertaining, while the bedroom evokes a sense of serenity. The property includes an extensive kitchen with a range of Smeg appliances, hardwood flooring and a bathroom with Duravit sanitary ware and taps from Hansgrohe. The private decked terrace runs the length of the property, overlooking the landscaped podium courtyard garden. New Stratford Works is located in the heart of Stratford with its comprehensive travel links, in addition to this, residents enjoy a gifted lifetime membership to a car club. The new Linear Park and the community gardens / allotments allow residents to an open green space in an urban environment. Available with Help to Buy, this apartment is priced at £439,950.
A collection of contemporary homes set around a landscaped garden square, New Garden Quarter reinterprets the classic concept of a London mansion block for the 21st century.
Situated in Stratford, east London’s most vibrant hub, this is a location for those first time buyers who want to be close to the action. The Olympic Park, Westfield shopping centre and the Stratford stations are just moments away. As part of this collection of 67 well-designed homes, apartment 178 is a bright and airy one bedroom home, with open-plan living space, floor-to-ceiling windows and large private balcony.
Those who live at New Garden Quarter will enjoy what is already a friendly and inviting community, with a range of on-site amenities including gym, cafe, nursery and 24-hour concierge. Available through Notting Hill Genesis’ shared ownership scheme, this is a place where first time buyers will immediately feel at home.
In collaboration with award-winning architect Pitman Tozer, The Reach has transformed a derelict, self-contained plot of land into an inclusive new community. Uncompromising in style and quality of finish, The Reach is a modern achievement set around a beautifully landscaped communal garden; complete with secure cycle storage, dedicated seating areas and children’s play area.
Space-maximising solutions such as underfloor heating that eliminates the need for oversized radiators and reinforced walls to accommodate wall-mounted TVs allow first time buyers to make the most of furniture layouts and liveable spaces. Classic separated kitchen/dining rooms for three bedroom homes are ideal for larger households while modern open-plan layouts allow natural light to flood into charming dual aspect apartments.
And with convenient en suites and allocated parking to selected units, The Reach offers an ideal starter home for first buyers, with a 25% starting-from share price of just £68,750 (FMV: £275,000) for a one bedroom apartment. Discover more: www.peabodysales.co.uk/The-Reach
Best Law Firm for Conveyancing
This award celebrates law firms with outstanding conveyancing packages for first time buyers.
Cavendish Legal Group (‘CLG’) has a core of quality solicitor led teams, organised to provide an efficient personal service.
First time buyers have direct access to their solicitor throughout the process. This ensures they benefit from bespoke guidance at all times. We provide buyers with a fixed fee quotation on a no sale no fee basis via an online system that also enables the Buyer to complete the necessary instruction form on line. We make every effort to advise clients of the total costs from the outset, which is particular important for First Time Buyer’s of Shared Ownership properties where the implications of Stamp Duty are particularly difficult.
CLG uses advanced technology to keep buyers fully up to date with progress including text messages when important milestones are reached. CLG is also committed to providing a seamless and pain free experience for buyers. This is borne out by our Trustpilot score, which is consistently 5 stars.
Independent research shows that CLG is the largest London based firm for conveyancing. Our plan is to continue to grow so that we can carry on offering a personal service and pass on the benefit of greater economies of scale to our clients.
Direction Law is one of the most established and largest specialist affordable housing solicitors in the country. In 2019 alone, we completed over 3,600 shared ownership purchases.
We attend numerous launches of new build developments and Help to Buy events up and down the country, regularly speak at the London Home Show, and exhibit at the First Time Buyer shows in London and Manchester.
Prospective clients can obtain an instant quotation online or speak to our dedicated new business team who will guide them through the initial stages.
Where we stand out is that while other firms may have conveyancers who deal with a variety of affordable housing cases, we have taken it one stage further and have individual dedicated teams specialising in either new build shared ownership, resale sales and purchases, or new build/Help to Buy respectively; thus ensuring greater expertise.
Our aim is to progress cases to exchange and completion as swiftly as possible, not only resulting in a satisfied client who has achieved their dream of home ownership with the minimum of fuss but also ensuring our strong relationships with the many housing associations, developers and specialist financial advisors we are recommended by.
Many clients come back time and time again which is testament to the quality of service we provide.
Prince Evans Solicitors LLP are a multi discipline law firm based in Ealing. Prince Evans Solicitors LLP New Build Homes and Conveyancing team specialise in all aspects of Conveyancing for the first time buyer. We benefit form a particular expertise and understanding of shared ownership and new build property including the Help to Buy Shared Equity scheme.
The majority of our clients are first time buyers buying either through the shared ownership or help to buy scheme (or taking the crucial next step such as buying additional shares known as staircasing). We offer a personal service ensuring that buyers deal with one conveyancer from instruction through to completion.
We also act for Housing Associations and Developers in the sale of new build homes. We help hundreds of first time buyers to take their first steps in to home ownership every year and in the past twelve months we have grown even further assisting many more first time buyers.
This exciting new award category celebrates a collaboration of two or more companies who have worked together to deliver both quality and affordable homes for first time buyers. It Will highlight the best practice of partnership working within the housing sector and champions the ethos of working together to deliver more.
HOME REACH BY HEYLO: A HUGELY POPULAR PART BUY – PART RENT SCHEME DELIVERED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NEARLY 40 HOUSEBUILDERS
Home Reach by heylo housing is an extremely effective part-rent, part-buy scheme that makes newly-built homes for sale on the open market more affordable to first-time buyers (FTBs). What makes the scheme unusual is that it is not restricted by the ‘rules’ of traditional shared ownership.
FTBs can purchase the same home with a third less salary when compared with Help to Buy. They also choose between buying a bigger share of a lower-priced home or a smaller share of a more expensive one. Other benefits include a much greater choice of homes, fewer eligibility restrictions than traditional shared ownership schemes, as well as private sale internal specification.
Currently partnering with over 45 housebuilders – including the top twenty by volume – the impact has been huge. More than 4,000 new homes have been bought using Home Reach, with over £80 million of government grant awarded to the scheme
Combining the funding power of an investment company and the expertise and specialist services of one of the UK’s largest housing associations, Metropolitan Thames Valley (MTVH) and ReSI Housing have set up an innovative, 20-year partnership that is boosting the supply of much-needed shared ownership homes.
The 20-year partnership agreement is for an unusually long time, demonstrating the commitment of both companies; it is designed to maximise the number of shared ownership homes available to buyers. ReSI Housing sources properties which would not have been used for affordable housing and delivers them as shared ownership homes backed by a government grant.
MTVH helps ReSI Housing secure these grants and deals with matters related to shared ownership, while SO Resi, its shared ownership arm, acts as sales agent. MTVH and ReSI Housing are currently delivering 132 high-quality shared ownership homes at their flagship scheme SO Resi Clapham Park in south west London.
Partnership has underpinned the success of Peters Village, an all-new 1,000-home community that has risen from the remains of a defunct Victorian cement works that once thrived on Kent’s River Medway.
Downland scarred by the works’ chalk pits – plundered to feed 19th century London’s building boom – has been reborn as a rural yet well-connected village, offering a wide choice of quality homes being imaginatively arranged on re-worked quarry contours, and with elements fostering a healthy lifestyle and co-existence with Nature.
Nearly 300 apartments and houses are occupied, and residents are served by walks, bridleways and cycle routes, and enjoy an attractive riverside esplanade – a popular meeting place – abundant open space and quality playing fields. Peters Village already has its own state-of-the-art primary school and work starts soon on a handily sited village centre, with supermarket and shops, medical centre and community hall, including nursery school and changing rooms.
Located on the site of a former Royal Naval Air Station, Daedalus Village is a collection of 200 new homes in Lee-on-the-Solent, with 80 for sale through Shared Ownership – 40% of the site’s overall housing mix.
The scheme is being developed in partnership by housing provider Radian Group, Wates Residential and Homes England, unlocking the future of this historic site and delivering high-quality, affordable homes. It is being delivered through Home England’s Direct Commissioning Initiative, which helps to fast-track the building of homes on publicly owned land at double the pace of the industry standard.
Thoughtfully designed to preserve the area’s heritage, the character of the former naval buildings is complemented by a new style, centred around green spaces that reflect the surrounding landscape of the Hampshire countryside. Every home is finished to a high specification, regardless of tenure.
100% of the Shared Ownership properties in the first phase at Daedalus Village were reserved in the first week after the launch.
Redwing and M&Y are part of The Regenda Group and share a strategic purpose of providing a range of multi-tenure housing products. As part of this, we have specifically focused on a multi-tenure offer, focusing on non-traditional means such as shared ownership, increasing access to housing for first time buyers, in areas where property prices may otherwise be restrictive or quality lacking.
Our partnership aims to address barriers to ownership through the provision of high-quality housing. By combining our strengths, we can deliver positive results for first time buyers. Redwing has over 50 years’ experience in the sale and management of affordable homes, particularly shared ownership. M&Y has almost 40 years’ experience in building and maintaining a range of properties. Through utilising the knowledge of both and coming together to share skills, we champion collaborative working and use an integrated approach to increase options available to first time buyers.
For many First Time Buyers, especially those that are interested in schemes such as Help to Buy or shared ownership, securing the right mortgage can be a huge stumbling block. Our dynamic partnership between SiteSales Property Group and independent broker SO Mortgages offers prospective purchasers a one-stop shop that not only takes away the stress surrounding purchasing a new property, but also ensures that first time buyers make wise choices when considering buying their first home. SiteSales and SO Mortgages work together at every stage of the sales process and although we are not financially linked, we see ourselves as sister companies when it comes to having first time buyer welfare at heart. While SiteSales concentrates on selling new affordable properties for outright sale, shared ownership and shared equity, SO Mortgages assists buyers in choosing the right scheme for them and source the funding they require to become new homeowners. This also includes full support when purchasing a new home with the government run scheme, Help To Buy.
Best Urban Regeneration Project
This award is for the best development within a neighbourhood regeneration scheme that can demonstrate the benefit it has brought to the area.
Home to the Nestlé factory for over 100 years, Hayes is taking centre stage as a key beneficiary of the Elizabeth line. Barratt London’s Hayes Village development sits at the heart of this west London community, delivering 1,386 new homes and 640 employment opportunities upon completion.
The mixed-use site will embrace enterprise alongside amenity-rich spaces, including a public café, nursery, gym, 200m running track, canoe club, three hectares of green space, a new canal realm and 1.3km walking trail. The scheme will retain much of its historic identity, restoring the factory’s white and blue façade, while sensitively designing new buildings with visual effect in keeping with the Art Deco vernacular. From the moment new residents enter along the tree lined avenue, they will see the modernist Truscon building bought back to life.
An ambitious regeneration project transforming the north end of West London’s Portobello Road, Portobello Square by Catalyst will see the former Wornington Green Estate developed into c. 1000 new apartments and houses alongside shops, community facilitates and a public park.
Replacing declining quality homes and outdated community facilities, the regeneration resets historic street patterns to mirror the surrounding areas, blending seamlessly with Notting Hill’s signature Victorian townhouses and picturesque treelined streets. The development delivers homes for a mix of first-time buyers, young families and, crucially, local people.
Alongside this, Portobello Square includes some of Catalyst’s highest specification private sale homes to date – with all profits reinvested into the provision of affordable homes and services for local communities across London and the Southeast. Taking a ground-breaking approach to community engagement, the project demonstrates a genuine partnership with local people – engaged with at all stages, the vast majority of social rent residents in the now completed Phase One, are returning residents.
South Oxhey Central is a £172m mixed-use regeneration scheme by Countryside and Home Group, in partnership with Three Rivers District Council, that is currently transforming the existing town centre and three unused sites into a modern and vibrant hub for local residents and businesses.
Set amongst two acres of landscaped parks and public spaces will be 55,000 sq. ft. of retail and commercial space, including an 18,500 sq. ft. Lidl food store, a revamped retail experience at Carpenders Park railway station and 514 new homes.
A rejuvenated retail area at Station Approach, which is now fully let, is bringing local shops and trade back to the area, while Countryside is also creating employment and training opportunities for local people in construction. Friendly, safe and well-overlooked streets and public spaces, designed according to Secured by Design principles, are creating an environment that is attractive for living, working and recreation.
Situated opposite the Eden shopping centre (on Lily’s Walk) and adjacent to Buckinghamshire New University campus, Centre Square is a landmark collection of 364 new studio, one and two-bedroom apartments and 19,408 square foot of commercial and retail space on a 1.43 hectare former gas works. Following pioneering site preparation and remediation works, Inland Homes’ dynamic new development is transforming High Wycombe, creating an exciting new destination for contemporary living in the heart of town, just moments from a comprehensive range of local amenities.
Underlining the appeal of Centre Square and its prominent landmark location, an initial off-plan launch resulted in the sale of more than 35% of the first release of studio, one and two-bedroom apartments. Many purchasers were first-time buyers, with prices from £169,950 providing the opportunity to take the first step onto the property ladder.
Since launch, a further 80% of purchases have been by first-time buyers, attracted by the enhancements Centre Square has brought to High Wycombe, the proximity of local facilities, the easy access to London (just 26 minutes by train), high specifications and affordable price points.
Novus is Miller Homes’ flagship development in the North West of England. The 282-home development is located on the former Itron gas meter factory on Talbot Road, Stretford – providing Miller Homes with the perfect opportunity to regenerate a brownfield site into a new thriving and vibrant community.
Comprising a mix of one and two bedroom apartments and two to four bedroom homes boasting bold, urban and contemporary designs, the development is attracting many buyers looking for an aspirational and attractive first home in what is set to become one of the North West’s most desirable and sought after locations.
At Bow Garden Square, Poplar HARCA, in partnership with Telford Homes and The London Borough of Tower Hamlets, has regenerated a rundown 1960s’ estate in East London to provide 109 mixed tenure new homes with an extensive range of community facilities including a new nursery and primary school, sports hall/community centre and mosque; all share a tight 2.38-acre site in a stunningly efficient use of land.
The private sale (with Help to Buy) and shared ownership homes offered first-time buyers exceptional value in a great location with excellent transport links; nearby Mile End Station to Bank in seven minutes.
Designed with input from the local community, Bow Garden Square has transformed the estate and local area. Build complete in September 2019 using 20 per cent of local multi-skilled labour, and with every home sold, it has brought new and existing residents of Bow together and strengthened the sense of community.
Most Innovative Marketing Campaign
This award will be given to the most innovative marketing campaign that has been carried out using all forms of media. Enabling first time buyers to find affordable housing and have the most up-to-date and relevant information about government schemes and mortgage deals.
SO Resi, the shared ownership brand of leading housing association Metropolitan Thames Valley, is on a mission to raise awareness of shared ownership and change the way it is perceived and has taken a fresh approach to promoting the scheme by making it straightforward and easy to understand.
Underpinned by SO Resi’s website which explains every aspect of shared ownership simply and with complete transparency, its marketing campaign spans multi digital, print, audio and outdoor channels and uses innovative promotions such as one linked to National Avocado Day, to engage and attract a predominantly young audience of aspiring homebuyers.
Evidence of the campaign’s success is clear: a 73 per cent increase in traffic to the website in 2019, 12,381 people registered at a SO Resi development between April and October 2019; almost three in ten enquiries resulted in a visit and 11% of visits turned into a reservation.
The innovative brand created for Manor Place Depot helped it stand out and engage first time buyers, cleverly weaving in the heritage of the site and playing on the homonymic meaning of the ‘Manor’.
This was backed up by a dedicated microsite with embedded video content that focused on placemaking and lifestyle. Situated close to the hub of Elephant & Castle, Manor Place Depot has an enviably convenient location, which became central to the unique selling proposition for the development. In showcasing its apartments as ideal for first time buyers, it was crucial to highlight the area’s diverse and established community and the significant regeneration of Elephant & Castle, as well as the excellent travel connections.
Built on the site of the historic Manor Place Baths, the brand drew on this heritage. The name Manor Place Depot was retained and the bold, confident brand reflected the vibrancy of the local area, appealing to the first-time buyer demographic.
In April 2019 we launched Onward Living, a new brand to represent our homes for sale. Onward Living specialises in building new homes, with a focus on Shared Ownership, to suit the diverse needs of our customers, whether they’re a first-time buyer, a growing family, or just thinking about downsizing.
To support the brand launch we developed an integrated, research-led marketing campaign with multiple online and offline tactics. The impact of our campaign was clear: for a marketing spend of less than £80,000 we sold 100% of our homes within one month of launch, generating £2.5 million in sales revenue.
Best Age-Exclusive Housing
Many older buyers are increasingly looking to move into their first age-exclusive home. This new category recognises the need for quality homes and environments for older buyers who are 55 plus.
emh Care & Support is part of emh Group, and provides affordable homes and related care across the East Midlands. Developments are specifically designed to help people live an enjoyable, independent life, by providing the support, care, and housing that match their individual needs.
Springfields is a beautifully landscaped development, set in idyllic National Parkland near the stylish spa town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, comprising 65 high specification apartments including 15 for sale with shared ownership. The architects have focused on creating light, open spaces, which inspire a sense of wellbeing and honour the site’s proximity to one of the area’s most famous natural springs.
Communal spaces, for socialising and welcoming guests, include a bistro, a beauty salon and a residents’ lounge.
All apartments are self-contained and future-proofed, as they are designed to allow wheelchairs and mobility aids to be used if required. The front entrance has a video door entry system, and each apartment also has its own secure entrance.
Springfields has a dedicated team of staff available 24/7, with flexible care packages that can evolve as needs change.
Located in the heart of Withington in Manchester, Minehead consists of 64 two bedroom contemporary townhouses and apartments available for affordable rent or to buy through shared ownership.
Minehead blends new existing communities together through careful and clever use of space and facilities by creating an onsite community cafe, treatment room and integrated bus stop within the development.
Twenty-one apartments are available through Older Persons Shared Ownership. The apartments benefit from a cafe providing space to relax, eat and socialise. A treatment room – a unique resource –will offer a range of health services. Committed to making this a success the development will also have its own age-friendly officer.
Ten houses within the development are available through shared ownership offering the chance to step on to the property ladder in a location within touching distance of popular Didsbury and Chorlton. The properties suit a range of buyers – from single occupants or young families, to older households looking to downsize. Each newly built home has modern eco features, including energy efficient boilers and full double glazing, making them more affordable to heat and maintain.
Linden Court is a new build extra care scheme in the London Borough of Lewisham, comprising of 53 units,19 of which are for shared ownership exclusively to those over the age of 55.
The surrounding area is mainly residential but within walking distance to the High Street. Lewisham is a lively community with a strong cultural mix and a strong sense of community and history.
One Housing worked in partnership with Hill Partnerships & PRP architects to develop these beautifully designed retirement apartments which promote independence and wellbeing both internally and in the external shared amenities.
The scheme has been designed with the evolving needs of the age-exclusive market in mind, with an on-site skilled care and support service provided to all. One Housing is a leading developer and provider of specialist senior living accommodation and has had exceptional feedback from local people on this new development and offering for the people of Lewisham.
Best Show Home
This award goes to the company with the best show home allowing the buyer to see the property to its maximum potential, giving them a realistic insight into their new home.
The London borough of Tower Hamlets had more than 1,250 Help to Buy purchases since the inception of the London-specific scheme in 2016, so it is perhaps no surprise that Bellway London’s Explorer’s Wharf development in Poplar, Tower Hamlets, has proved so popular with first time buyers.
In fact, more than half of purchases on the new development have been with Help to Buy. Located alongside the Limehouse Cut canal, Explorer’s Wharf is a stunning development of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, offering city living in one of London’s top investment areas.
But there is more to this scheme than its location. Buyers had the opportunity to see the development brought to life thanks to an award-winning two-bedroom show apartment that combines eye-catching design with vital first time buyer budgetary considerations. Bellway’s interior design partner Vesta has created an impressive ‘loft-living’ style which appeals to young city professionals.
With an emphasis on 21st century living Windsor Apartments is a striking collection of new homes set amongst 2.5 acres of landscaped gardens. Set just off Prince of Wales Drive, Clarion is delivering 229 affordable homes at the development, 161 of which are available with Shared Ownership and 68 homes for intermediate rent.
The two bedroom show home at Windsor Apartments has been designed to echo the calm and openness of its surrounding parkland but also bringing hints of both the trendy and sophisticated café culture in the area. With carefully selected furnishings that are affordable and appealing to first time buyers, the show home presents a great insight to how buyers can live there on a budget.
With a specification that is identical to the homes for private sale, the two-bedroom, two-bathroom showhome at SO Resi Sydenham goes above and beyond the expectations of a first home in terms of specification, quality of design and its fantastic London location.
What’s more it delivers 726 sq ft of stunning living space and requires a five per cent deposit of just £6,060 for a 25% share. Carpets, oak flooring, Bosch kitchen appliances and wardrobes to the master bedroom are all included. Every home benefits from a balcony and, for security, a video entry system.
SO Resi Sydenham is part of Crest Nicholson’s Dylon Works development, situated just 200m from Lower Sydenham station and delivering a commute to London Bridge in around 15 minutes; a commuter’s dream. The clear industrial-style influence of the interiors provide brilliant inspiration for new homeowners looking to style their first home on a realistic budget.
We selected Decorum interiors who are up and coming in the sector, are on trend & have expertise within the first time buyer market. The Boyn Heights show apartment is filled with carefully considered & stylish items which are at an affordable cost. Boyn Heights situated within the heart of Maidenhead promotes affordable living for First Time Buyers.
This development offers 45 one and two-bedroom apartments on the Shared Ownership scheme, giving the younger generations an opportunity to get onto the property ladder. Located within close proximity to the town centre bustling with shops for all your needs, the train station is also within walking distance taking you to into London in no time. The modern look even includes your high street items from Zara, and H&M homes making it all the more accessible to the first time buyer. Simple yet stylish.
Thoughtfully designed to reflect the vibrant local culture and artistic aesthetic of Islington, Origin Housing’s showhome for ICON7 incorporates a creative design with an industrial edge.
A minimal, contemporary colour palette helps prospective buyers imagine bringing their personal identity to the space. Statement artworks and quirky decorative objets d’art, such as cameras on picture ledges, generate a sense of artistic vision. Committed to creating a genuinely achievable look for first time buyers, key pieces have been sourced from a wide range of affordable and easily accessible retailers.
The stunning showhome has been crucial in helping to secure reservations at the boutique collection of 17 one and two bedroom Shared Ownership and Help to Buy apartments. All 15 Private Sale homes reserved within two months, and Shared Ownership homes were reserved within weeks of launch.
Capturing the spirit of a premium collection of Shared Ownership apartments, located in one of East London’s exciting regeneration zones, Southern Home Ownership’s show home at The Refinery is an aspirational home, embodying West Silvertown’s industrial heritage and bright future.
Presenting authentic connections to the area’s history while inspiring first time buyers, the three-bedroom duplex show home takes full advantage of the space – showcasing a unique, individual style inspired by the surrounding neighbourhood. Metal finishes and leather upholstery are direct nods to the past while bold, rich colour palettes and plush fabrics elevate the design and create a homely feeling throughout.
By incorporating pieces from a variety of online and high street outlets into a creative layout, Southern Home Ownership succeeds in showing first time buyers sophisticated home design can be accessible and affordable while maximising the space to work best for them.
Best Supplier to the FTB Market
This award goes to a service, company or agency that supports the first time buyer industry. This could be a product or service that helps to support and promote the message of homeownership.
We built FirstHomeCoach to deliver better outcomes for first-time buyers. With our free-to-use app, they can get into their home faster, cheaper and smarter. It is a digital tool for a generation seeking to utilise technology to play life better.
We empower them to use their data to personalise and plan – creating a digital twin – from which they can make smarter decisions. Launched in Jan 2019, the FirstHomeCoach app has now helped over 75,000 first time buyers – people reading useful, jargon-free articles, completing personalised missions to inform their journey and speaking to our partners who can help on savings, mortgages and more.
What sets FirstHomeCoach apart from other offerings on the market is its user experience. By bringing everything all into one place, making the app easy to use and delivering a personalised yet private experience we have a powerful propositional combination that meets people’s needs.
A brand name synonymous with Shared Ownership, Share to Buy is the UK’s leading online portal for first time buyers.
Specialising in both Shared Ownership and Help to Buy, the site is an unparalleled resource for buyers navigating the world of affordable home ownership, listing over 4,000 homes and generating over 200,000 leads.
Since launching over a decade ago, Share to Buy has become a voice of authority in the sector, committed to educating the market on alternative home ownership options and making these options accessible.
Innovative user experience is essential; Share to Buy offers a wealth of free online resources – including ‘how to’ guides, videos, and financial calculators.
Another string to their bow, Share to Buy run the London Home Show, the capital’s largest first-time buyer event, showcasing the best in affordable homes. The free event gives buyers the opportunity to speak face-to-face with housing experts.
SiteSales Property Group has been supporting first time buyers for three decades, offering new affordable properties from our clients for outright sale, shared ownership, shared equity and using Help to Buy.
We pride ourselves on providing unrivalled customer service to home buyers from the first enquiry through to the first anniversary and beyond. We also build our own homes for sale through our partnership company, Regenta, using our experience and expertise in the property market to create homes that are perfect for first time buyers, such as the beautiful apartments at Winns Avenue, Walthamstow, that are already fully reserved.
Our experience means we can support buyers every step of the way to homeownership, offering continuity and a friendly face throughout their purchase. We even include 12 months aftercare, with a 24-hour hotline, in the unlikely event of any problems after moving in; ensuring every buyer feels at home.
StepLadder is a gamechanging fintech company committed to rewriting the odds in the first-time buyer’s favour – a unique 100% collaborative alternative to raising a deposit alone.
Using a peer-to-peer model, members put aside set amounts over fixed terms, lending and borrowing from each other. Motivated by team spirit, members raise their property deposits together on average 45% faster compared to saving alone.
StepLadder aims to empower members by negotiating significant discounts on their behalf from surveyors, solicitors and mortgage advisors. Response in the first year has been phenomenal and StepLadder hopes to change the future of personal finance.
StepLadder has worked on an “First-Time Buyers Unite” initiative with UK policy makers to develop achievable changes to regulation and policy. By influencing and collaborating with MPs, StepLadder aims to support the First-Time Buyer and make the UK the easiest place in the world to realise the dream of home ownership.
Suna is an interior design studio working exclusively with property developers on show homes, interior specification, marketing suites and CGIs for a wide variety of clients across the UK, from HA’s to high-end private developers.
We pride ourselves on a bespoke approach to each one of our projects, taking location, target market, client and brief into consideration to produce show homes that offer the developer the best opportunity to appeal to their specific purchasers.
Working with numerous FTB developers across our 18 years in the industry has given us a vast experience of balancing inspiration, aspiration and individuality, designing interiors that speak to the target market for each development.
With services that span the entire development process we work with developers from the planning stages, with optimisation and specification services, through to the sales journey with CGIs, show homes and marketing suites. A one-stop shop for the FTB developer!
We Are The Media People… The Media People is a media advertising agency that specialises in the real estate industry. We have been working within the property sector for over 20 years and our unique position is that we are a hybrid media agency that is able to work across both digital media and traditional media platforms such as TV, Press and Posters.
We are a team of 30 media qualified people that work collaboratively with over 40 clients made up of Housing Associations, Private Developers and Sales Agents. Online. Offline. We are your people.
Best New Development in the South
This award is for the best development of any size in the South of England (for the purposes of category – below Birmingham). A highly competitive marketplace where the construction of new homes is increasing, this award recognises an exceptional range of new homes that stands out for the crowd whilst remaining accessible for first time buyers.
Historically in an area that were the hunting grounds of King Henry VIII, the vision for Beaulieu was to create a vibrant new integrated community for the city of Chelmsford, bringing together 3,600 quality new homes in a range of styles to suit different tastes, preferences and income levels.
The homes are designed around 180 acres of green open spaces, ranging from formal parks, village greens and community gardens to natural meadows plus an orchard. These green open spaces connect the new Beaulieu neighbourhoods and give residents a wealth of choice for outdoor activities, improving their health and well-being.
Beaulieu is a perfect destination for young couples or families, offering four distinct residential neighbourhoods. These range from traditional, colonial style through to über-modern, meaning there’s a home to suit all tastes. The neighbourhoods that make up the development are: Beaulieu Keep, Beaulieu Chase, Beaulieu Heath and Beaulieu Oaks.
Designated as one of seven ‘VIP’ sites by Southampton City Council, and forming part of the regenerative Itchen Riverside project, Chapel Riverside is an exciting nine-acre scheme which will ultimately include a vibrant mix of more than 450 new one, two and three-bedroom apartments, public amenity space, retail space and commercial buildings specifically reserved for marine-based businesses.
At the outset, the intention was to provide homes at an affordable price point for existing residents of Southampton. This ambition has been realised with many first-time buyers taking advantage of Inland Homes’ sales incentives, including ‘Reserve for £99’ and ‘Free furniture pack’, as well as the Government Help to Buy scheme. Chapel Riverside’s prominent location on the west bank of the River Itchen allows easy access to Southampton city centre (0.7 miles) for those working in the city or for those wishing to make the most of extensive leisure and entertainment facilities on offer.
A new cycleway will greatly improve links to Ocean Village (0.3 miles), and a wide tree-lined avenue will enable vehicles to easily and safely navigate the site.
An all-new bridge over the River Medway was the key to unlocking a challenging brown field site, now transformed into an attractive and distinctive new community in the heart of Kent – the Garden of England.
The new crossing delivered easy access to the motorway network, high speed trains into London and vastly improved job, education, shopping and leisure options. With its distinctive riverside esplanade adjoining the elegant new bridge, Peters Village could also offer something different from other local developments.
Best New Development in the North
This award if for the best development of any size in the North of England (for the purposes of this category – Birmingham and above). An area of the country where housebuilding is increasing and offers a highly competitive marketplace, this award recognises the exceptional range of new homes that stands out from the crowd whilst remaining accessible to first time buyers.
Located in the heart of Withington in Manchester, Minehead consists of 2-bedroom contemporary town houses and apartments (64 homes in total) available for Affordable Rent or to buy through Shared Ownership.
Minehead blends new existing communities together through careful and clever use of space and facilities by creating an onsite community café, treatment room and integrated bus stop within the development.
Twenty-one apartments are available through Older Persons Shared Ownership, offering the opportunity to move or downsize to a home suitable to their needs. The apartments benefit from a café providing space to relax, eat and socialise. A treatment room – a unique resource – that will offer a range of health services. Committed to making this a success the development will also have its own Age-friendly officer.
Ten houses within the development are available through Shared Ownership offering the chance to step onto the property ladder in a location within touching distance of popular Didsbury and Chorlton. The properties suit a range of buyers – from single occupants or young families, to older households looking to downsize. Each newly built home has modern eco features, including energy efficient boilers and full double-glazing, making them more affordable to heat and maintain.
Clifton Gardens is a unique development of 24 homes built in the grounds of the historic Turner Home in Aigburth, Liverpool. 20 of the properties were available exclusively through shared ownership.
Aigburth in South Liverpool is a sought-after district. It boasts convenient transport links to Liverpool city centre which is just 15 minutes away, it’s on the doorstep of Sefton Park and has excellent schools nearby. As a result, many prospective home-owners find themselves priced out of the market.
The development was an opportunity to diversify the existing housing offer and we are proud to have delivered 100% affordable housing on the scheme. Completed in September 2019, Clifton Gardens is the first shared ownership development in this area for a decade, giving local first-time buyers an opportunity to get on the property ladder.
Copper Brook is a flagship development of 69 two, three and four bedroom affordable homes in the village of Helsby, Cheshire – and Riverside’s fastest selling new scheme ever.
With eight property styles and sizes available through Shared Ownership, Riverside Home Ownership offered first time buyers and other eligible purchasers the opportunity to get onto the property ladder in this highly desirable, well connected location.
The development supplies much needed new homes to help meet a growing local demand. Shared Ownership means purchasers buy the share they can afford and pay a reduced monthly rent on the remainder, with the option to own outright in the future. Properties at Copper Brook are built to an extremely high specification, with superb finishes throughout including carpets, ceramic tiling and kitchen appliances all as standard. Buyers also benefit from the RHO team’s expert advice and support throughout the whole process and beyond.
Best Off-Plan Development for FTBs
This award will be looking to recognise a development that has not yet been built/completed but offers great potential to first time buyers.
Built on the site of the former civic offices in Bexleyheath, Eastside Quarter from Bellway London is a stunning example of how developments can be designed, built and marketed for first time buyers without compromise.
With seven studio apartments and 216 one-bedroom apartments (43 per cent of the total 518 apartments), not to mention on-site and off-site amenities and excellent transport links, it is well suited for the first time buyer market.
What’s more, the attention to design, detail and standard of customer care means that Eastside Quarter serves as a best-practice model for first time buyer developments. This is demonstrated by the fact that more than 70 buyers had bought off-plan before the development even launched in December 2019.
In buzzing Peckham, the collection of stylish, contemporary apartments at Peckham Place are available off-plan, carefully designed to suit first time buyers’ lifestyles now and in the future.
There are 333 new homes in total, offered in a range of tenures including shared ownership and private sale, some with Help to Buy London, offering great potential for those wishing to get onto the property ladder. The apartments come in a mix of one, two and three-bedroom layouts, all featuring spacious light-filled interiors, a high-quality finish and a range of eco features.
Residents will also enjoy plenty of outside space including a new pocket park, as well as a private terrace or balcony to most homes. Notting Hill Genesis’ market leading levels of customer care, first class show homes and innovative marketing suite technology means that first time buyers are guided smoothly through the off-plan buying process.
Foxwood is a fantastic new mixed tenure development consisting of 54 houses in central Salford, comprising homes available through Shared Ownership and also for market sale by Cube Homes with the option of Help to Buy.
The desirable location, transport links and affordable price tags, combined with contemporary design has resulted in high demand, with over 55% reserved off-plan; with majority of customers being first time buyers. From site start, an off-plan launch was planned, combining strengths of Foxwood with nearby developments maximising choice and enabling customers to consider location, tenure and house type options to suit their needs.
The off-plan launch attracted huge demand and reservations levels were high, complimented by the subsequent opening of our show home. First time buyers are involved throughout the sales process and are able to choose their kitchen and bathrooms as well as the opportunity to access their future home before build completion.
Shared Ownership homes at Blackhorse Lane in Walthamstow brought to the first time buyer market by One Housing. These homes are an outstanding collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments as well as three and four bedroom maisonettes. Walthamstow is surrounded by green spaces whilst having the amenities of a modern urban area, giving residents the best of both worlds.
Harlow Quarter is an exciting new development by Strawberry Star Homes, set amongst beautifully landscaped public spaces and a retail avenue at Harvey Centre in the heart of Harlow town.
A residential led mixed-use development with planning consent to create 447 residential apartments, including studios, one and two-bedroom homes. Residents will enjoy concierge services, cycle storage, and two communal roof gardens. All units will fall under the Help-to-Buy scheme in relation to capital values.
This redevelopment opportunity is part of the Harvey Shopping Centre from Broad Walk to West Gate and East Gate providing connectivity through to the rest of the town. With over 43,000 square feet of commercial space, Harlow Quarter is just 30 minutes by train to London, ideal for first-time buyers and commuting professionals aspiring for UK capital’s lifestyle.
The Guinness Partnership has started to build a mixed-use scheme of 965 mixed-tenure homes at “Imperial-by-Lea” with well-designed external communal areas including a riverside park, access to the River Lea and a resident’s courtyard garden.
The development has been designed to feel inclusive, with the provision for communal working and leisure space, as well as the convenience of ground floor commercial space, including a riverside café that will add to the wider sense of place.
Connectivity is key and Bromley-by-Bow tube station is within a few minutes walk, providing access to Liverpool Street and The City in 9 minutes. This convenience for work, balanced by the close proximity to Stratford, the Olympic Park and Westfield, open up lifestyle options. The mixed tenure accommodation broadens the opportunities to purchase and we anticipate 90% of homes will be eligible for Help to Buy or Shared Ownership, reducing monthly costs for nearby renters.
Best Use of a Government Scheme
Homebuying schemes are extremely valuable to first time buyers. This new award category recognises how a scheme such as Shared Ownership or Help to Buy has been maximised, helping first time buyers take their first step on the housing ladder.
A modernist landmark giving first time buyers the ultimate in specification and communal facilities in the heart of rapidly regenerating Croydon, Leon House offers a contemporary collection of 50 one and two bedroom Shared Ownership apartments from Legal and General Affordable Homes.
The first ever development by newly formed affordable housing provider, the homes are set within a 21 storey, former office block that has been part of Croydon’s skyline for almost 50 years. Helping first time buyers take their first step onto the property ladder in the south London hotspot, prices start from just £87,500 for a 25% share (FMV £350,000) – and just a 5% deposit is required on selected units.
Perfect for the freelance generation, all residents at Leon House enjoy a plethora of communal facilities and services – from a daily concierge service, co-working spaces and meeting rooms with ultra-fast broadband, to a large roof terrace and a private dining room available to hire for dinner parties and events. Residents will also enjoy the benefits of living in a largely owner-occupied development, with social media groups already in place to quickly involve new owners, and arrange neighbourly gatherings and events in the communal spaces.
Help to Buy aids a variety of people get on the property ladder and this is undoubtedly something we’ve seen at Joseph Williams Place – a Liverpool development delivered by Compendium Living.
More than 50 per cent of the residents used the Help to Buy scheme to get onto the property ladder at Joseph Williams Place. This included a wide range of buyer types from young people purchasing their first home to families looking at larger properties with enough space to grow into.
Liverpool is very popular with families and so the development had to offer schemes to assist this audience. Help to Buy has enabled many of our customers to either get on the ladder with the 5% deposit or buy a larger home in a location that is close to family but also has an established sense of community in a desirable area.
With acres of green spaces, calming waterways, enjoyable leisure facilities and an unrivalled community spirit, Thamesmead offers a refreshed perspective on London-living.
Set to benefit from a multi-million-pound investment, Thamesmead will welcome an influx of new facilities and homes – starting with The Reach in West Thamesmead; a development that makes the most of affordable homeownership schemes such as Shared Ownership. In collaboration with award-winning architects, Pitman Tozer,
The Reach has transformed a derelict, self-contained plot of land into an inclusive, new community. With only Shared Ownership and affordable/social rent available at the development, The Reach has successfully made homeownership dreams a reality for many Londoners. And with convenient en-suites and allocated parking to selected units, The Reach offers an ideal starter-home for first-buyers with a 25% starting from share price of just £68,750 (FMV: £275,000) for a 1-bed apartment. Discover more: www.peabodysales.co.uk/The-Reach
Judges Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to the First Time Buyer Market
This award will recognise the outstanding contribution made by one individual to the first time buyer market. This award will celebrate the work of an individual who through their innovative approach to the market has helped first time buyers overcome the usual challenges face in the sector.
This award will be judged by judges only.
Intuitive, innovative, insightful, inspirational and supportive are some of the many complimentary words people have used to describe Felicity Gentle. Without any doubt, she is one of our sector’s shining stars, incredibly well-respected and a true champion with a passion for first time buyers and for Shared Ownership.
Felicity’s career in the housing association world started seventeen years ago when she joined Affinity Sutton (now Clarion). Later, she joined Viridian and, in 2017, managed the integration and merger of the Viridian and Amicus Horizon sales teams to create new highly performing and successful teams at Optivo.
Year on year Felicity has worked closely with her teams, delivering sales of hundreds of new homes and resales, helping people onto the property ladder. Her performance record is exemplary, with targets smashed every single year and on track to do the same at Optivo this year. Her natural and positive approach helps Felicity to establish a can-do solution-focussed culture with customers at the forefront.
Undoubtedly one of the industry’s greatest champions of affordable home ownership, Share to Buy’s Head of Operations, Nick Lieb, has dedicated his career to date to promoting Shared Ownership and Help to Buy to eligible buyers across the UK.
Nick leads a small but highly efficient team, seamlessly running the operations and marketing sides of both Share to Buy and The London Home Show, the UK’s largest event for first time buyers, in an ever changing and challenging property landscape.
Under Nick’s leadership, the portal had its biggest reach ever in 2019, and now has over 4,000 properties listed by more than 150 housing associations, providers and sales agents – with a property enquiry generated every 2.5 minutes. Since Nick joined the team, Share to Buy has also received over 1,250,000 property enquiries and 140 million page views.
Sarah Butler has helped thousands of households into homeownership during her 20-year career with housing associations and housebuilders including Peabody, L&Q, Notting Hill Genesis and, from 2020, Moat.
At L&Q, Sarah was part of the team that developed London’s first HomeBuy Agency service (a model that still influences how the Help to Buy Agent network operates), making it easier for first time buyers to find out about low cost homeownership options.
She also contributed to L&Q featuring in The Sunday Times list of 100 best companies to work for. As Director of Sales & Marketing at Peabody she positively managed change during a merger, growing the team from three to 17, developed a website and CRM system and turned around sales performance.
After joining Genesis Housing Association in 2017 as Commercial Director she managed the integration of sales and marketing operations as Notting Hill Housing Trust and Genesis merged. Sarah’s conscientious, meticulous and caring approach has enabled sales to become the voice of the customer in new development planning, optimising the delivery of new homes to market.
A leading and well-respected property professional with over 15 years sector experience, Tony celebrates an outstanding track record for the organisations he has worked assisting 1000’s of ftbs. He is innovative in his approach and is passionate about customer service and quality of service winning many awards for the organisations he has worked.
He has given numerous training seminars to improve the industry performance. He truly believes in supporting the first time buyer market and has presented at Affordable Home Shows across the country to help first timers as well as appearing on TV and radio promoting affordable housing.
Having led and managed many teams over the years, during that time he was quick to recognise and encourage rising stars to reach their potential, who today continue to contribute to the success of the sector in delivering excellence and homes for first time buyers.
He is now a consultant promoting best practice and supporting organisations deliver affordable homes. He is also a Non–Executive Director of a housing association operating in Cheshire who have impressive customer engagement and performance and won the TPAS tenant engagement award in 2019