Award Categories 2022

Private Developer of the Year

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This award will focus not only on the design and quality of the properties built,
but also on all aspects of the developer’s performance.

Gleeson builds high-quality, low-cost homes in areas where there is a strong need for affordable housing and where first time buyers, young families and key workers want to live. We believe that not only does the design and quality of a Gleeson home exceed expectations, but the overall performance of the company as a whole does too. From excellent customer satisfaction results, to our number one priority at Gleeson, health and safety, which is supported by our own health and safety sub-brand HomeSafe. We are proud to put our customers at the front of everything we do, which is illustrated through our Customer First initiative, which aims to ensure that the customer journey is as exciting and enjoyable as buying a first home should be. We strongly believe that Gleeson is worthy of winning the private developer of the year category.

 

Higgins Homes is a family run business with 60 years’ experience in designing and building quality homes across London and the South East. No two of its developments are alike, with homes ranging from compact “Citipad” London micro flats to help first time buyers on to the housing ladder, up to five bedroom detached country homes. What all have in common is attention to detail, with carefully planned exteriors and internal layouts, high-quality fittings and appliances and a focus on fantastic customer service. From its helpful sales staff, detailed brochures and user-friendly website, to the time spent welcoming owners into their new homes, nothing is too much trouble. Higgins Homes has received numerous awards for both the quality of its homes and its care and investment in staff training, and the company prides itself on listening to and acting upon customer feedback to maintain the highest standards throughout the business.

Weston Homes, whose motto is “Built with Passion, Delivered with Pride”, delivers quality properties in London and the Home Counties and has won numerous awards. Its in-house architectural team combines traditional craft skills with modern methods of construction to create beautiful, energy-efficient homes, such as Abbey Quay in Barking, praised by planners for its design quality. The company’s off-site construction complex fabricates components including wardrobes, bathrooms and wall panels, ensuring flawless finishes, customer choice and savings that enable higher quality fixtures and fittings. All Weston Homes properties have a boiling water tap, fridge-freezer, dishwasher and washer-dryer, and buyers can substantially personalise their home, choosing the worktop, cupboards, vanity unit and flooring. Stunning marketing suites, with furnished apartments and scale models, help buyers choose; and initiatives for first time buyers and dedicated customer service ensures they are cared for.

Affordable Housing Provider of the Year

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This award will go to an organisation that has shown innovation in the way it designs, builds and markets its properties as well as offering a variety of services which can help first time buyers on to the property ladder.

Established over 50 years ago, Hyde is one of the leading housing associations working in England, owning or managing around 50,000 homes in London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, the East of England and East Midlands. We share how successful the in-house sales and marketing team has been in supporting innovation in design and marketing homes for first time buyers. They have delivered above-target sales receipts and a high volume of off-plan sales, averaging 77% across shared ownership, outright sale and JVs, while also collaborating with construction teams to inform design and customer aspirations, ensuring we build the right homes in the right places, and at the right price. The excellent service delivered by Hyde’s sales and marketing team to our first time buyers has been independently endorsed by In-house Research which has recently accredited Hyde with the Gold award for customer satisfaction, based on feedback across our varied product range.

Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH) formed in 2018 when Metropolitan and Thames Valley Housing joined forces. It owns or manages 57,000 homes across London, the South East, East Midlands and East of England and is a member of the National Housing Federation and the g15, which represents London’s largest housing associations. MTVH creates homes for shared ownership via its SO Resi brand, alongside offering affordable rent and open market sales. Constantly innovating, the group has conducted numerous research pieces to understand the needs of future homeowners and help shape its offering, presents crystal-clear marketing materials to demystify the tenure and creates a wide range of new homes from starter apartments to spacious family houses. It forms strategic, dynamic partnerships to promote shared ownership, with the established SO Resi Partnerships helping buyers find a home while supporting the market and working with housebuilders to bring homes into use more quickly.

Part of the Orbit Group, Orbit Homes is one of the largest builders of affordable homes in the UK, delivering over 1,000 new build homes per annum, 65% of which are affordable homes, with plans to build 6,500 new homes by 2025. Our developments range from small schemes in rural villages, through to large urban regeneration projects. By offering a choice of either market dale, Help to Buy or shared ownership, we aim to make homeownership more achievable. Our homes are tenure blind, sharing the same commitment to sector-leading design, specification and safety, coupled with outstanding customer service. Our vision is to lead in building thriving communities, and we believe everyone is entitled to a good quality home that they can afford in a place that they are proud to live.

Best Small Development

This award will be given to 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. The award is for schemes of fewer than 30 homes.

Hilltop View, built and developed by Abri, is a development of 29 one, two and three bedroom shared ownership and affordable rent homes in the attractive village of Clanfield, East Hampshire. With a focus on build quality, sustainability and locally sympathetic design, Hilltop View offers first time buyers affordable living in a highly desirable rural location, just a stone’s throw from local amenities and excellent transport links. The development has not only provided appealing homes designed with first time buyers in mind, it has also helped to ensure that younger generations are not priced out of the local area, allowing this Hampshire rural community to flourish. Testament to the development’s popularity, all 12 shared ownership properties were reserved off-plan at the initial launch event, with buyers moving in as soon as the properties completed.

Egerton Rise is a small but perfectly formed development of seven three bedroom terraced homes in the popular seaside town of New Brighton, Wirral. Perfect for first time buyers, these unique three-storey homes were offered on a shared ownership basis, which allowed residents to buy a percentage (between 40% and 75%) and pay rent on the rest, meaning a smaller mortgage and smaller deposit. The development sits in the heart of New Brighton’s flourishing Victoria Quarter, a major regeneration project that includes independent bars, restaurants and shops that are set back from the main drag of New Brighton’s more commercialised seafront. The homes at Egerton Rise were finished to a high standard throughout, with fully integrated contemporary kitchens and modern bathroom suites, as well as other modern conveniences such as a dedicated office space to meet the needs of buyers whose priorities had shifted towards homeworking during Covid-19.

Alphabet is a striking development of 30 new one, two and three bedroom apartments for market sale in NW6, forming part of the South Kilburn Regeneration Programme. All apartments feature a terrace, balcony or wintergarden, and are set in three interlinked blocks from four to six storeys, with a central courtyard. Just six weeks after the launch off-plan in November, the development was 60% sold, including all the one bedroom homes, available using Help to Buy. Set in an extremely well-connected Zone 2 location, with four tube stations nearby and eight bus routes on the doorstep, the homes proved especially popular with first time buyers. Outside, the architect-designed building improves the street scene with design cues from the area’s Victorian heritage, while on the inside, apartments ooze contemporary style, with indigo and white two-tone kitchens with matt black taps and quartz worktops, fitted wardrobes and frameless opaque glass balcony screens.

Best Large Development

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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 have provided additional facilities to benefit the local community and surrounding neighbourhoods. These homes are in large developments in a mixed-tenure environment, or stand-alone developments.

The Quarry is one of the largest single-scheme regeneration programmes in the South East and will deliver 849 homes on a site previously considered undevelopable. This joint venture partnership between Anderson and L&Q involved a wealth of community engagement to enhance facilities in the local area. With this has come the provision of a school which will take the form of an award-winning design, colloquially named “the doughnut” where every classroom looks out on to the landscape. Commitment to ecology has also played a significant role and the site’s redevelopment has brought several environmental benefits including creation of a dedicated public open space and six acres of existing woodland belt with hundreds of new trees planted. In short, this project has drastically enhanced and regenerated a neglected and dangerous plot which will become a true asset to the community.

Barratt Homes’ Delamare Park development in Nunney includes 82, two, three, four and five bedroom homes. The development has been carefully designed to fit in with the local area in terms of layout, mix of materials and housetypes available. The development is just a 10-minute drive from the popular town of Frome, which was named as the best place to live in the South West. It’s the first gas-free development for Barratt Developments, with all properties fitted with air source heat pumps as standard. Help to Buy is available and eligible on more than 50% of homes. More than 33% of purchasers at the site are first time buyers, and 64% of those have used the Help to Buy scheme. Barratt has contributed more than £285,000 to the local community; £272,577 towards education and £14,097 towards healthcare. It has also donated to Nunney Village Hall.

Launching in July 2022, Granville Gardens is an impressive collection of 132 newly built luxury homes, arranged across a 3.7-hectare site, providing greater variety of housing to an established neighbourhood in north west London. A mix of 86 private and 46 shared ownership properties are available across the scheme (composed of three new blocks of apartments and 58 houses), attracting a wider range of professionals and families seeking contemporary and dynamic living spaces, with stunning specification, in a popular Zone 3 location in London. The design creates aesthetic cohesion with existing social housing blocks to progressively develop the character of the existing estate, successfully blending old and new, and creating a stylish, co-ordinated public realm for residents. The new streetscape and landscaping with beautiful planting and play areas knit together the community, creating a series of safe and elegant streets and squares, with definition of public and private spaces.

 

A dramatic new landmark on Harrow’s skyline, Origin Housing’s flagship development, Harrow and Wealdstone Heights, is a development of 81 shared ownership apartments, having a huge impact on the north London property market. Located a short walk from a major transport hub – Harrow & Wealdstone station – the development offers high quality living for first time buyers, in an enviable location. Eighteen stories at its tallest, Harrow and Wealdstone Heights’ modern, open-plan apartments will give residents sweeping panoramic views across London, with every apartment also providing access to a private balcony. A further communal roof terrace offers a unique vantage point from which residents can enjoy views of London’s skyline. To maximise the contribution to the wider community, Origin’s ambition has allowed it to increase the amount of affordable housing on site, and radically improve the public realm.

Park Hill is one of the UK’s most significant regeneration projects. Originally built in 1961 as part of the slum clearance project, it was an emblem for social change, yet by the 1990s it suffered dwindling occupancy and anti-social behaviour. English Heritage bestowed the Grade II listing upon Park Hill in 1998, paving the way for JV partners Urban Splash and Places for People to transform its fortunes. Today, Park Hill is an affordable, desirable and inspirational place for first time buyers to live. Innovative new designs have ensured the homes meet the needs of modern occupiers – with Park Hill now boasting desirable, affordable homes. With an impressive focus on placemaking, the JV has also created a more diverse, cultural quarter and successfully provided additional facilities to benefit the local community and surrounding neighbourhoods. Park Hill is steeped in colourful history and has secured a bright future for its community.

East Wick and Sweetwater (EW+S) is a Joint Venture between Balfour Beatty Investments and Places for People, in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London. Over its lifetime, EW+S will bring new schools, nurseries, and community spaces to the area, as well as creating a strong residential community with over 1,850 new homes. The ambition is to create an eclectic and thriving neighbourhood with people at its heart. The first phase of development is complete, providing 302 new homes, a nursery, and a local Co-op branch, while Clarnico Club, a multi-purpose marketing and social hub with a cafe and flexible event space, serves as the beating heart of the new neighbourhood. Planning approval for the next five phases of development was granted in December 2021 and January 2022. These phases will provide 1,557 new homes, of which 502 will be affordable.

Best First Time Buyer Family Home

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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.

The Lanes at Thorn Fields offers truly extraordinary properties for a first time buyer family looking to find their forever home. A collection of 137 two, three and four bedroom shared ownership homes by Catalyst in the family friendly town of Houghton Regis, the development is part of the family oriented Bidwell West development project, an ambitious scheme delivering up to 1,850 homes, new commercial space, a primary and secondary school, local centre and recreational and landscaped spaces. The Braxton at The Lanes at Houghton Regis is a high-specification semi-detached three bedroom house with a luscious private garden, dedicated parking space and a host of generous storage spaces, available to purchase through shared ownership with Catalyst. The Braxton offers the opportunity for a first time buyer family to secure their own slice of this thriving community, while providing the highest quality of living, and represents outstanding value for money for a family home in South East England.

Situated in one of Buckinghamshire’s best-connected villages is Burnham Court, a collection of 58 properties built by Chancery Homes, a new arrival on the housebuilding scene with a vision of meeting industry demand for more high-quality, accessibly priced housing in attractive locations within commuting distance of London. Comprising 36 three and four bedroom family townhouses and 22 apartments, purchasers of Chancery homes will have the assurance of an impressive 40-year track record, backed by a solid organisation of in-house building and design professionals. To help make these quality homes even more accessible to families, Chancery Homes formed a partnership with trusted professional landlord Thrive Homes, known within the industry as a provider and manager of housing for first time buyers.

One of the South Coast’s premium developments for first time buyer families, August Fields by Guinness Homes is a spectacular collection of 85 homes in the historic port town of Newhaven. Offering 70 three and four bedroom houses, the development is ideal for families looking to put down roots in a seaside location. It is set in attractive landscaped grounds, offering a great location, excellent nearby schools and plenty of space for busy family life. August Fields offers a pocket of affordability in an area where sold prices have risen by 5% in the last year alone, with starting prices over half the price of an average semi-detached in the area. Ensuring families don’t have to compromise on quality, homes at August Fields are finished to a high specification throughout and have been designed with family living in mind. Homes offer spacious open-plan layouts throughout, much-needed outdoor space and generously sized rooms.

Saxon Reach is a green, family oriented development by L&Q, delivering 255 high-quality, one to five bedroom homes for Milton Keynes. Putting community living at the heart of a brand new neighbourhood, Saxon Reach has been designed with families in mind, with plentiful green spaces, play parks and tree-lined avenues, plus an all-through school opening in September 2022. A stunning four bedroom detached house, The Bamburgh at Saxon Reach epitomises the ultimate family home. Offering a generous 1,459 sq ft of internal living space, The Bamburgh is designed to cater for the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The flexible lateral kitchen/dining room provides a central family hub, while the private, fenced garden is perfect for children. Upstairs, a dedicated main bedroom suite offers a sanctuary for parents. The Bamburgh is priced accessibly for first time buyers, offering a fantastic opportunity for families to step on to the property ladder in a prosperous new neighbourhood.

Situated on the banks of the Thames with sought-after views of the river, the three bedroom mews houses at Notting Hill Genesis’ Woolwich Reach have proved popular with young families looking to put down roots in east London. Blending affordability, space, quality and location, the home has been designed with modern family life in mind. It benefits from open-plan living on three floors with plenty of built-in storage, private outside space and secure parking – perfect for those exploring London and beyond by car. Families can enjoy the green, open space of the neighbouring Royal Victoria Gardens, with children’s play areas and sports facilities, or hop over the river to explore the educational and creative attractions of Woolwich and the nearby Royal Docks. The development is perfect for parents who commute into central London, with travel into Bank in under 30 minutes by the DLR, a seven-minute walk from Woolwich Reach.

Port Loop is Birmingham’s first island neighbourhood. When complete, it will deliver more than 1,150 new homes, commercial workspaces, parks, green spaces and community facilities, all within a 15-minute walk along the canal from Brindley Place. A mix of tenure has been provided including outright ownership, Help to Buy, shared ownership and various rental options. Described as “Birmingham’s most successful residential development during the pandemic”, Port Loop purchasers have comprised a mix of first time buyers and other purchasers, each attracted by the vast green and blue space available, as well as the flexibility in property design.

Best First Time Buyer Apartment

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This award is for an apartment suitable for a first time buyer, which is affordable and also offers excellent design flair, both inside and out.

The Chocolate Factory is a new collection of one and two bedroom apartments in the heart of Greenbank, Bristol. The exciting redevelopment of the former Elizabeth Shaw Factory, that made confectionery in Greenbank for over 100 years, is now welcoming its first residents. Rich in history and heritage, the much-anticipated regeneration of this iconic Bristol site offers a blend of well-designed newly built homes and converted apartments, offering the best of modern living. As well as a community hub, and landscaped central square, the development also includes direct access to the popular Bristol to Bath Railway Path, providing an easy commute to Bristol Temple Meads railway station and the city centre. Built with the first time buyer in mind, homes aren’t all that you’ll find at The Chocolate Factory. The regeneration of this historic factory site promotes a vibrant and bustling community, for all to enjoy.

Built in partnership with Swindon Borough Council, David Wilson Homes’ Canalside @ Wichelstowe development on the outskirts of Swindon features 91 new properties. The two bedroom Chichester apartment boasts a wharf-style design influenced by traditional waterside architecture, with views over the newly restored Wilts & Berks canal. It has an impressive main entrance, a stylish open-plan kitchen, dining area and lounge, with a Juliet balcony to first and second floor apartments. There are two double bedrooms, with an en suite shower room to the main bedroom, a full-sized bathroom and a handy utility cupboard. All apartments come with an allocated parking space. All apartments were eligible for Help to Buy – 75% of Chichester purchasers were first time buyers and 90% of those used the Government’s Help to Buy scheme to make the move. Priced from £185,000, first time buyers could move with a deposit of just £9,250.

BoKlok on the Brook is BoKlok’s flagship UK scheme, offering a collection of sustainable, great value one and two bedroom apartments and two and three bedroom family houses, close to Bristol’s vibrant city centre. An established partnership between leading names Skanska and IKEA, BoKlok draws on 25 years of experience across the Nordics. In 2019, BoKlok launched its first scheme in the UK, driven by an ambition to deliver high-quality, sustainable new modular homes, while making homeownership more accessible to everyday people. Built using MMC, BoKlok’s homes can be built faster and more efficiently than traditional homes. Inside, its homes include a series of energy-saving measures to assist homeowners to live more sustainably and as a result more cost effectively too. BoKlok on the Brook has been specifically designed with first time buyers in mind. Now all reserved, 97% of purchasers here were first time buyers.

The two bedroom show home at Central Square, the latest phase of apartments at Copley W7 by Broadway Living, represents a rare opportunity for a first time buyer in expensive London. Here, buyers don’t have to compromise to get on to the ladder – the two bedroom apartment comprises two bathrooms, a superb specification (including a comprehensive suite of Zanussi appliances within the price), a location in the heart of leafy Ealing yet with a railway station metres from the development, all at a price of just £490,000 with Help to Buy available (5% deposit of £24,500). Designed to impeccable standards, the modern apartment – complete with a balcony – features light-filled, open-plan living spaces and bedrooms with a dedicated working area to give homeowners the flexibility to work comfortably from home. On-site amenities include a large landscaped courtyard, a community centre, playground and a shop.

Equidistant between Earlsfield and Wimbledon, The Switch is a remarkable development of 181 one to three bedroom shared ownership apartments in south west London. Meeting the needs of London’s first time buyers, apartments have versatility at their core, designed to maximise on space so that every square metre is best utilised. Two show homes demonstrate the possibilities within the apartments. Each is centred around a spacious open-plan living area, with ample space to work from home, and accompanied by private terraces, providing room for lounging and dining outdoors, with direct access to the communal podium garden. Properties encircle the AFC Wimbledon stadium, with externally facing podium gardens that provide tranquillity, while a new public pedestrianised and cycle route runs through the site, creating a picturesque walkway for residents. Truly accessible for south west London, through shared ownership, purchasers can get on the property ladder at The Switch with deposits from just £3,875 for a studio apartment.

Fresh Wharf in Barking is an ideal first step on to the property ladder for those seeking a luxury specification in a thriving location at an affordable price. With Help to Buy available, these impressive apartments by Countryside are highly sought-after by those looking to be part of the regeneration success story in Barking & Dagenham, which continues to outperform the wider London housing market. Offering views over the River Roding, homes at Fresh Wharf are conveniently located, with a plethora of amenities on the doorstep and Barking town centre within walking distance. Residents enjoy 16,000 sq m of open space and outdoor amenities, including a beautifully landscaped central park and enhanced river walkway. The two bedroom apartment at Fresh Wharf offers modern design, generous spaces, open-plan living, and a balcony. Boasting a faultless internal specification, with luxury flooring and fully integrated appliances, this is the perfect, hassle-free first home.

Providing buyers the opportunity to purchase a chic apartment in a desirable Zone 2 London location, Guinness Homes’ Leaside Lock is a major placemaking project that will ultimately deliver 965 homes. A unique opportunity to get on to the property ladder in east London’s exciting new neighbourhood in Bromley-By-Bow, Leaside Lock is designed for community living, with contemporary apartments wrapping around a central piazza. The stylish open-plan apartments are set in the vibrant new neighbourhood, offering a range of amenities on-site, including a health and fitness studio, a cafe, a gym, a convenience store and co-working space. Available for use all year round, residents can also enjoy the partially enclosed roof terrace, offering panoramic views of the London cityscape, as well as access to a podium garden. Perfect for first time buyers looking for an affordable city pad, prices for the stylish, contemporary apartments start from just £310,000.

Plot 503 on the fifth floor at Tarragon House is a stunning one bedroom apartment at Evergreen by Latimer, available through Help to Buy. Situated in Harringay, first time buyers here benefit from living in the heart of one of north London’s most exciting and creative neighbourhoods and enjoy the connectivity of a Zone 3 location. Homes at Evergreen are centred around tranquil green space in the form of a central communal garden, which hosts a wide range of indigenous trees and shrubs that will provide stunning greenery all year round and rich seasonal colour. Buyers will benefit from a wide choice of amenities, stunning green spaces and speedy transport connections in this exciting central London location. Internally, the large open-plan kitchen/living/dining area is ideal for entertaining and extends on to a spectacular balcony. The bedroom benefits from fitted wardrobes and the kitchen comes complete with Bosch appliances. With a market value of £460,000, first time buyers can secure this home with a 5% deposit, from £23,000.

Situated on the North Downs, London Square’s Tadworth Gardens showcases everything desired by today’s first time buyers. The leafy location of Epsom offers residents an abundance of green space in which to explore as well as the world-famous racecourse, which will be host to this year’s Jubilee celebrations. This stunning development includes an exclusive collection of contemporary one and two bedroom apartments available with Help to Buy. Designed to appeal to first time buyer lifestyles, plot 145 is a spacious two bedroom apartment on the second floor of Arundel Place, a three-storey apartment building architecturally designed to blend seamlessly with the village ambience of the overall development. Featuring a light-filled, dual aspect kitchen/living/dining space with a private balcony overlooking the landscaped central green, the apartment has been completed to an excellent specification. Features include ample storage, modern Amtico flooring, secure video entry system and parking.

Farringdon Walks offers an incredible opportunity for aspirational first time buyers to ditch the commute, and purchase a premium apartment in one of London’s most exciting new developments in the heart of the capital. The exceptional six-acre flagship site at historic Royal Mail Mount Pleasant sorting office, comprising 681 new homes, over 20,000 sq ft of retail space, and an oasis of beautifully landscaped public and private open spaces, boasts design flair from celebrated architectural studios Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio, Wilkinson Eyre, and Allies and Morrison. One Housing launched Phase 1 through S106 with 16 exclusive one and two bedroom shared ownership apartments in September 2021. Larger than average city pads around this ultra-central London location by Chancery Lane and Farringdon station, first time buyers are presented with outstanding value for the supreme quality and size of the apartments, and the sensational site proposition.

Arden is an ideal choice for first time buyers to make their first steps on to the ladder. Ideally located to take advantage of Lewisham, Greenwich and Deptford, the development sits within a tranquil landscaped setting, with plenty of outdoor space for residents to enjoy. Bordering travel Zone 2 and 3, Arden benefits from a convenient, well-connected location with excellent transport links to Canary Wharf and the City, making it an ideal place to call home. Residents benefit from a range of on-site amenities, including a concierge service, co-working hub, snug cinema room and a well-equipped fitness suite. The apartments are designed with first time buyers in mind. Sleek and modern kitchens are perfect for foodies, while sea-green tiled bathrooms give the sensation of an at-home spa experience. Energy-efficient LED fittings throughout help keep energy costs low, and hyperoptic internet connections are perfect for working from home or streaming the latest binge-worthy series.

East Wick and Sweetwater (EW+S) is a Joint Venture between Balfour Beatty Investments and Places for People, in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London. Over its lifetime, EW+S will bring new schools, nurseries and community spaces to the area, as well as creating a strong residential community with over 1,850 new homes. The ambition is to create an eclectic and thriving neighbourhood with people at its heart. The first phase of development is complete, providing 302 new homes, a nursery, and a local Co-op branch, whilre Clarnico Club, a multi-purpose marketing and social hub with a cafe and flexible event space, serves as the beating heart of the new neighbourhood. Many of these homes were provided as shared ownership, creating genuine opportunities for first time buyers to get on to the property ladder. Planning approval for the next five phases of development was granted in December 2021 and January 2022.

Best Law Firm for Conveyancing

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This award celebrates law firms with outstanding conveyancing packages for first time buyers.

CGM Solicitors is an established Southampton firm with a national reach. We work throughout the UK with first time buyers of shared ownership and new build homes.Our commitment to providing clear, jargon-free, specialist legal advice to first time buyers has led to us being recommended by many housing associations, developers, and mortgage brokers both locally and on a nationwide basis. We offer expert advice in all matters including shared ownership and new homes. Our dedicated teams are driven by a passion to demystify the homebuying process and to provide a bespoke service which is tailored to each client and development. Our core belief is the client should feel they are at the heart of each transaction. We offer:  • Fixed fee packages • Experienced lawyers • Secure online ID checks and payments • Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme Accredited.

Direction Law is one of the most established and largest specialist affordable housing solicitors in the country. In 2021-22 alone, we completed almost 4,800 new build purchases. Prospective clients can obtain an instant quotation online or speak to our dedicated new business team who will guide them through the initial stages. While other firms may have conveyancers who deal with a variety of affordable housing cases, we 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, but also ensuring our strong relationships with the many housing associations, developers and specialist financial advisers 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 is a full-service law firm operating throughout London and the South East; we benefit from a number of specialist teams covering the majority of legal requirements a private individual may have during their life. Our teams include Conveyancing, Family & Matrimonial, Wills Trust and Probate, Personal Injury, Landlord & Tenant, Employment and Litigation. Whether you are moving house, dealing with a relationship breakdown, the victim of a personal injury or wishing to ensure your personal affairs are in order for your loved ones, we can offer all of these services under one roof. Our conveyancing team has vast experience and understanding of acting for first time buyers and we were proud to be voted the Best Law Firm for Conveyancing at the First Time Buyer Readers Awards in both 2020 and 2021.

Best Partnership

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This exciting award category celebrates a collaboration of two or more companies which have worked together to deliver both quality and affordable homes for first time buyers. It will highlight best practice of partnership working within the housing sector and champions the ethos of working together to deliver more.

Greenwich Millennium Village is a joint venture between Countryside and Taylor Wimpey Central London, in association with the Mayor of London. Over the past 22 years, the partnership has been transforming a 300-acre brownfield site into a sustainable district at the heart of the capital which, once complete, will deliver over 2,800 new homes. Born from a shared vision between the partners, their aspiration sought to provide a range of high-quality, innovative homes that facilitate a sustainable lifestyle. Comprising one, two and three bedroom apartments, these new homes suit a plethora of lifestyles and, with Help to Buy available on selected properties, homes here successfully cater for first time buyers. Aiming to reconnect the local community to the outdoors, residents enjoy 50 acres of parkland on the doorstep, adjacent to the River Thames, alongside a wealth of community facilities including a yacht club, an established Village Square and an ecology park.

L&Q and Mount Anvil have formed a joint venture partnership to deliver the Silk District, a brand new development transforming the former site of a warehouse into an impressive new district offering a mix of shared ownership and private sale homes, located moments from Whitechapel station. The partnership has delivered a scheme that offers first time buyers the opportunity to buy into a development that not only offers first-class design in a central location but also comes with exceptional communal facilities rarely available to shared ownership purchasers, exclusively for residents’ use.

It’s almost a decade since Urban Splash and Places for People formed a joint venture to deliver new affordable homes and a quality amenity-filled community, in what was a very challenging project in Sheffield. Park Hill is an iconic, Grade II listed brutalist architecture, and together, the partnership is sensitively renovating the ageing building, bringing existing homes up to modern living standards and expectations by making Park Hill a more attractive and diverse place. Sharing values and combining strategy, the partnership embraced its joint expertise for providing quality, functional and affordable properties for those individuals, couples and families looking to find a first home that offers more than bricks and mortar. The JV has passionately worked together to bring love, life and pride back to this iconic community by making it a genuinely vibrant and sustainable place for first time buyers to settle and enjoy life

Best Use of Online Tools

This award category celebrates the integration of technology within the housing market. This award looks at how a scheme or development has engaged with technology, making access of information easier for first time buyers. This includes the use of online viewing tools, video footage, as well as websites, digital marketing and digital brochures.

Offering stylish new homes in some of West London’s coolest neighbourhoods, BE WEST, the sales arm of Shepherds Bush Housing Association, is fast becoming a go-to brand for first time buyers. The forward-thinking organisation has launched a plethora of digital tools in 2021, including a bespoke shared ownership calculator, which has already helped hundreds assess if they can afford their dream shared ownership property. Empowering first time buyers to be fully informed, BE WEST also created a series of easily-digestible digital guides – all in its distinctive black and white branding – offering buyers bite-sized information on everything from resales to staircasing. The company launched a number of its developments digitally, offering online tours and events (most recently a virtual staircasing event), to help buyers secure their dream home. Offering further digital innovation, BE WEST also provides a ‘Live Chat’ function on its website – instantly connecting buyers to members of the sales team.

Peabody has always been at the forefront of innovation, proudly flying the flag for creative and forward-thinking solutions that support the homebuying journey for first time buyers. We’ve opted to reap the benefits that digitalisation offers and integrate it seamlessly into our customer experience. As a result, we’ve been able to fully utilise online tools to enhance and simplify our sales process, offering a meaningful and informative experience at the buyer’s fingertips. With over 100,000 visits to our development interactive apps, digital walk-throughs and online brochures in the last year, we’ve successfully reserved nearly half our homes off- plan, through digital viewings alone. We’ve given first time buyers the confidence to reserve homes without physically seeing them and can only see this improving through the continued use our digital interactive tools.

The nation’s no.1 shared ownership property portal, Share to Buy is a brand synonymous with affordable homeownership. Receiving over five million visits a year from prospective buyers, innovation and user experience are central to Share to Buy’s services to its website users and clients. Understanding that the costs involved with buying a home can seem complex, the portal includes three ground-breaking research tools to make the homebuying process as straightforward as possible:

  • Monthly Cost Calculator: gives a breakdown of monthly fees likely for each property
  • Mortgage Calculator: helps buyers understand how much they can borrow
  • Staircasing Calculator: helps existing shared owners plan for their next steps.

The calculators have been used over two million times in the past year alone, helping tens of thousands of prospective buyers understand their options and generating hundreds of thousands of quality leads for housing providers.


Best Show Home

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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.

Capturing the essence of life in the leafy urban neighbourhood of Muswell Hill, Catalyst’s show home at The Folium demonstrates modern living in one of London’s chicest villages. The show home at The Folium reveals the versatility of the space, tailored to meet the needs of modern life, without compromising on a stylish interior scheme. With zoning techniques throughout, the space reflects the versatility of the apartment through clever furniture placement, providing a space to work, socialise, dine and live. Inspired by nearby Coppett’s Wood, the interior scheme integrates a diverse mix of natural materials, textured elements and bold statement paintings, including a commissioned artwork by local artist Jess Albert. Reprising the importance of connecting with the area’s surrounding greenery, each home is complete with a private balcony, terrace or garden, allowing residents to create their own outdoor oasis as an extension of their living space.

At Earlham Square, Gateway Housing’s shared ownership development in trendy Forest Gate, London’s first time buyers don’t need to compromise on location or high quality to get on to the housing ladder; the contemporary two bedroom show apartment – designed by Think BDW’s interiors team – is an outstanding first time buyer home that beautifully showcases the lifestyle on offer and inspires buyers on a budget. The high specification includes integrated Zanussi appliances, included in the price, while the contemporary show apartment has been designed with a meticulous eye for detail inside as well as out; first time buyers won’t have to sacrifice on style. Designer Think BDW has paired earthy tones with youthful, fun accents which appeal to the target buyer and create a playful yet elegant space; the decor, furnishings and accessories are on-trend and easy for buyers to replicate by picking up similar items at any homeware store which suits their budget.

Randalls is a unique, individually designed collection of 58 studio, one and two bedroom apartments and duplexes in the centre of Uxbridge. Combining a fusion of new and existing architecture, the development includes a conversion of the Grade II listed Randalls department store and the old fire station on Cricket Field Road, as well as three newly built apartment blocks. Within the converted building, Gatsby House, buyers can view the sizable studio show apartment to gain a tangible idea of what they can expect from a home within this characterful scheme. Designed by Phoenix Interior Designers, the sizable studio blends the art deco heritage of the department store with the contemporary urbanity of the surrounding area, while using a range of materials that utilise a typical first time buyer budget. Residents at Randalls are well-situated for shopping, leisure and travel, with Uxbridge town centre and underground station within a five minute walk.

A stylish space with immaculate interior design, top-range integrated appliances and comfortable furnishings, Optivo’s Home X show apartments went above and beyond the standard example of a show home. Focus Experiential supported the Home X project by designing, fitting, and decorating the state-of-the-art show homes and on-site marketing suite, completed as a set for a seamless, engaging, immersive experience and customer journey. Working in conjunction with the team at Optivo to design and furnish the one and two bedroom apartments, a unique concept came to life. Home X from Optivo brings one, two, and three bedroom apartments, and triplexes to the market, supporting first time buyers with the availability of Help to Buy and shared ownership, on a large scale development that forms part of the Preston Barracks regeneration, one of Brighton’s biggest ever regeneration projects, that will deliver 369 new homes, public squares, shops, cafes and play spaces.

Origin Housing commissioned a stunning, deco-inspired show home to help market Harrow and Wealdstone Heights, a landmark new development of 81 shared ownership homes in Harrow, north west London. The second show home for independent designer Tara Larkin, the space captures the liveliness of the exciting surrounding neighbourhood. Featuring a range of sumptuous and lush fabrics, as well as a wealth of items that have been sourced locally, the spirit of the space is fun and playful, showcasing how first time buyers can reflect their own individual style in their first home. The designer drew inspiration from the history of the surrounding area, once known as “metro-land”, and the 1930s-designed Harrow and Wealdstone station, moments from the development. With this in mind, the designer envisaged a modern twist on deco, which would capture fast-moving style and the excitement of owning one’s own home.

Homebuyers’ priorities have vastly altered in recent years, and the requirement for more personal space in and out the home is now one of the most sought-after features among house-hunters. Offering an ideal solution to first time buyers keen to stay in the capital, Apartment One at Lazenby Square, minutes from London Bridge station, offers the ultimate in luxury and style. Our interior design-led two bedroom show apartment showcases “must-haves” for the first time buyer including fibre optic broadband, built-in SONOS sound system and a large wintergarden to gain a sense of peace in “one of London’s best places to live” (The Times – Best Places to Live List 2015-2021). Beautifully conceived in partnership with leading interior design studio Suna, we created a space that can be easily replicated, creating a home a first time buyer would be proud of. We achieved an aspirational yet accessible look, to excite and inspire homeowners to create a space just as stylish, no matter how small the budget.

Best Provider 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.

Embrace Financial Services offers a helping hand, every step of the way, to first time buyers who are looking for a mortgage and support that’s needed to purchase a first home. We provide comprehensive advice on our website, mortgage appointments designed to offer everything a first time buyer could need (including time, understanding and innovation that really helps) and ongoing help and support up to, and beyond, the move-in day. It’s led to exceptional customer reviews, 97.77% of our first time buyers rate our services as Excellent or Good and 97.73% state they would recommend us to friends and family. And that growing reputation for great service has led to nearly a third of our mortgage applications being from first time buyers. We believe we’re a great provider to first time buyers, support homeownership and, with results to show it, are delighted to be taking part in these awards.

We just love shared ownership! Every month we help around 2,500 potential buyers. We establish what’s affordable and help achieve the right mortgage. Simultaneously, we help ensure regulatory requirements are met for our partner Housing Associations – nearly 100 across the UK. Supporting the sector, we developed affordability chatbots, staircasing chatbots and a series of portals for buyers and housing associations. All of which track and streamline the shared ownership journey. Constantly improving service levels, last year we introduced facial recognition ID checks and Open Banking software to our portals, focused on making it even easier for buyers and HAs. We constantly evaluate ourselves as a business, striving to achieve best in class service for both shared ownership buyers and our HA partners. Our dedicated team of around 60 have helped drive our Trustpilot rating to the highest in our field. Can we do more? Always….working with lenders, regulators, and stakeholders to give shared ownership the positioning it deserves.

Established in 2003, Full Comms is a creative, digital marketing agency specialising in property marketing and the affordable homeownership sector. Providing a range of creative services including branding, campaigns, media, marketing and web design and build, our approach to all projects, whether it be development branding or broader awareness campaigns, is instilled in our own mantra and set of values; “Made You Look”. Our commitment to the sector and its buyers, alongside our track record of high performing sales and marketing campaigns for our clients, positioned Full Comms as the perfect campaign partner for the second year of the National Shared Ownership Campaign, achieving almost 5.3 million impressions on social media, reaching over 130,000 accounts on TikTok, saw over 24,000 article reads and a 75% increase in followers on the campaign’s social channels.

Celebrating 20 years of service to the property industry in 2022, Red Loft is a name that has become increasingly synonymous with the affordable homeownership sector. Passionate about property, the company is helping more first time buyers than ever via its sales team, which markets some of the UK’s most prestigious developments, and as a consultant to developers, housing associations and local authorities. In 2021/22, Red Loft helped over 200 households on to the ladder and 70 households into London Living Rent Homes. For 2022/23, it already has a pipeline of over 500 homes for sale and let, so expect to more than double those numbers. Already having a 50-strong team of consultants and sales staff, in the next five years, Red Loft will expand by 50% to meet growing demands in the sector and further support the interests of first time buyers across the market.

A brand synonymous with alternative homeownership, Share to Buy is the UK’s leading property portal for affordable homes. Partnering with over 150 of the UK’s biggest names in housing, Share to Buy offers its users unprecedented access to a wealth of affordable properties and shared ownership resources. Not only providing an unparalleled service for their many clients across the housing industry – generating thousands of high quality leads – Share to Buy has also guided millions of hopeful first time buyers through their homebuying journey, offering a growing collection of informative “how-to” guides, insightful webinars, and jargon-busting videos. Not stopping there, Share to Buy also hosts the London Home Show – the capital’s largest first time buyer event. The show is an exceptional resource for budding buyers, allowing them to learn about currently available affordable homes, speak face-to-face with housing experts, mortgage advisers and solicitors, and attend expert Q&A sessions.

SO Resi, the award-winning shared ownership brand of Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, has been at the forefront of helping first time buyers on to the property ladder since it was founded in 2017. Constantly innovating, the brand launched a new initiative last year, SO Resi Partnerships, which makes it far easier for buyers to find their dream home and is helping to accelerate the delivery of more much-needed shared ownership properties on to the market. The aim of SO Resi Partnerships is to develop teamwork and collaboration with other housing providers, to help match would-be shared owners with properties around the country. Since its launch, dozens of partnerships have been established and the team has assisted with selling hundreds of shared ownership homes across London and the South East, including selling out of two schemes before handover, demonstrating its commitment to offer greater choice to first time buyers.

Best New Development in the South

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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.

Linmere is a blueprint for future developments, with an exceptional variety of new homes that appeal to a range of first time buyers, many of which are available through homebuying schemes. Barratt David Wilson will initially deliver 275 private homes and 31 affordable homes to the wider consortium that hosts vast community facilities, including several new schools, a co-working office, supermarket and a community hub. The homes sit against a backdrop of 90 acres of parkland space, ensuring residents are never more than a five-minute walk from nature. With new infrastructure to accommodate travel locally and beyond including bus routes, footpaths and cycle ways, residents are well connected and perfectly placed for all needs. Linmere truly has it all, and perfectly demonstrates how careful planning can deliver a mixed-used scheme where buyers can enjoy a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

BoKlok is an established partnership between leading names Skanska and IKEA. Having operated successfully in the Nordics for over 25 years, in 2019 it launched BoKlok on the Brook, its flagship UK scheme in Bristol. BoKlok’s aim: to deliver high-quality, modular, sustainable new homes that offer great value for money, while making homeownership more accessible to more people. Built using MMC, BoKlok’s homes can be built faster and more efficiently than traditional homes.  Inside, the homes take inspiration from Scandinavia, with a spacious, light-filled open-plan feel, while a series of additional, energy-saving measures are included as standard, all designed to assist future homeowners to live more sustainably, over the longer-term. Launched for sale via BoKlok’s unique ballot system, BoKlok on the Brook, which is located just a few miles from Bristol’s vibrant city centre, is now all reserved, with 97% of purchasers here being first time buyers.

Newman Place is a collection of 270 affordable homes, ranging from one bedroom apartments to four bedroom houses, four miles south of Oxford City Centre. Delivering a remarkable breadth of properties, the development will welcome a brand new community of residents. Offering exceptional choice for first time buyers, Newman Place is a 100% affordable scheme, providing a large number of homes for shared ownership, meeting the demand for housing in the area. Homes are available in an impressive 23 different layouts. These range from one bedroom apartments which offer a viable route on to the property ladder for a single buyer, to three-storey, four bedroom houses that make idyllic family homes. Located on the site of the former Littlemore Park hospital, Newman Place is designed to respect and reflect the site’s heritage, biodiversity and natural landscape, featuring a variety of wildlife areas, including an accessible waterway, walkway, cycle route, play park and allotments.

Best New Development in the North

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This award is for the best development of any size in the north of england (birmingham and above), an area of the country where housebuilding is increasing and offers a highly competitive market place. This award recognises an exceptional range of new homes that stand out from the crowd, while remaining accessible to first time buyers.

We are pleased to propose Rainsborough Park in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, as the best development in the North. This development boasts an exceptional range of affordable new homes perfect for the first time buyer market, as well as fantastic links to surrounding cities, having an overall positive impact on the neighbouring community. We provide our customers; predominantly young first time buyers, families and key workers, with the opportunity for wealth creation through homeownership, offering a wide range of house types to choose from. We have four show homes at Rainsborough Park, which are all styled by our interior designers to give our potential customers a real feel of what living in a Gleeson home is like. We truly believe that this development stands out from the crowd of developments in the North due to its affordability, range of buying schemes and overall fantastic design and layout.

Viaduct Housing Partnership is creating a new neighbourhood in Offerton, Stockport, while preserving an iconic, locally listed building that once housed the world famous Battersby Hat Works. The new mixed-tenure development consists of 144 houses and apartments and includes the refurbishment of the retained mill buildings. With multiple house types and various sizes, the development caters for the needs of both first time buyers and households looking to move. The mixed tenure consists of affordable rent, shared ownership and outright sales. All units, regardless of tenure, have the same excellent specification, with quality range kitchens included with integrated appliances and quality vinyl flooring, modern bathrooms and en suites with tiled floors and walls. The new neighbourhood has excellent transport links, and is close to excellent schools and large parks. All the shared ownership units in the first phase were reserved within minutes of being released for sale.

The Allingham Place development by Gecko Homes brings luxury living in a vibrant and fashionable market town centre within the budget of first time buyers through our shared ownership model. Located in a quiet street, just a short walk from Altrincham’s plethora of lifestyle and transport options, the development features 15 contemporary and luxurious two bedroom apartments, all finished to an extremely high standard of specification. Such a perfect location normally comes at a premium, but Gecko Homes is part of the non-profit provider Southway Housing Trust, with a long and demonstrable commitment to providing suitable homes for people whatever their background. Our shared ownership model is part of that commitment, providing full support at every stage of the process from our experienced and skilled housing professionals. First time buyers can access the housing market through an initial 40% share purchase, with the option to increase that in future.

Best Medium Development

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This award is for developments of 31-80 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.

Randalls is a unique, individually designed collection of 58 studio, one and two bedroom apartments and duplexes in the centre of Uxbridge. Combining a fusion of both existing and new architecture to create an exclusive address, the development includes a conversion of the Grade II listed Randalls department store and the old fire station on Cricket Field Road, as well as three newly built apartment blocks. Specifically appealing to the first time buyer market, all properties were available to purchase through the London Help to Buy scheme (2021-2023), while nine apartments were offered through shared ownership. These two opportunities have offered aspiring Uxbridge homeowners an affordable route into homeownership in a thriving town centre location, with all amenities within walking distance. The overall effect of the development is a desirable, inspiring set of homes that is perfectly suited to the modern first time buyer lifestyle.

Life Less Ordinary is committed to creating exceptional new homes, predominantly for first time buyers, which make contemporary luxury affordable. Its mission is to push the boundaries of functional design and apply an unparalleled level of attention to detail to each new home that is built. Working alongside leading consultants, architects, interior designers and suppliers, every development is approached with creativity and exacting detail to achieve homes of both excellence and innovation. By taking a personal approach to each step of the build, the company prides itself on creating new homes that are functional and practical, yet luxurious. Life Less Ordinary is committed to delivering the highest levels of service from origination to aftercare and continues to acquire exciting sites and develop properties that are provide buyers with beautiful homes in desirable locations.

The first major regeneration project at Old Oak Common, Oaklands Rise is one of north west London’s most exciting new developments for first time buyers. Notting Hill Genesis’ collection of 60 shared ownership apartments is set within the 605-home development and has been designed with first time buyers in mind. Open-plan kitchen and living areas, along with spacious balconies and terraces, create flexible spaces, while residents enjoy exclusive access to sought-after amenities including a concierge, residents’ lounge, work hub and green spaces. With a community developing on site already, Oaklands Rise is an important piece of the growing neighbourhood, providing vital new amenities including a nursery, medical centre and community hub, and active transport routes to strengthen the area’s increasing connectivity.

Best Off-Plan Development

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This award will be looking to recognise a development that has not yet been built/completed but offers great potential to first time buyers.

Specifically designed with first time buyers in mind, BoKlok on the Lake comprises a collection of sustainable, one and two bedroom apartments in the seaside town of Worthing. Situated alongside Somerset Lake and set within its own, landscaped grounds, the development aims to offer local buyers an opportunity to secure a spacious, well-planned and sustainable new home, while delivering value for money.  Launched off-plan in November 2020 via a ballot, BoKlok on the Lake is the second UK residential development to be delivered by BoKlok, an established partnership between leading names Skanska and IKEA. BoKlok draws on 25 years of experience across the Nordics. In 2019 it launched in the UK, with its flagship scheme, BoKlok on the Brook in Bristol. It is Boklok’s aim to deliver high-quality, sustainable new modular homes, while making homeownership more accessible to everyday people.

Sawbridge Park in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, is a development by David Wilson North Thames of 200 two, three and four bedroom houses for open market sale. Designed to appeal to eco-conscious first time buyers, Sawbridge Park has 10 acres of green space, parks and wildflower meadows, new ponds, 3,500 newly planted trees, a play area and allotments. Every home has an electric vehicle charging point, with additional chargers for visitors, saving installation costs and making electric car usage convenient and easy. In addition, homes have energy-efficient boilers and appliances, and excellent insulation, keeping energy bills to a minimum. The Built for Life accredited development features a wide range of house types and layouts, all with turfed gardens and allocated parking, giving buyers a huge amount of choice, while David Wilson Homes’ excellent level of customer service, incentives and aftercare means they will be looked after at every step of their homebuying journey.

Gecko Homes’ Barlow Moor Road development brings a choice of stunning yet affordable shared ownership apartments to a highly desirable and sought-after location, in a neighbourhood usually considered inaccessible to first time buyers due to high property prices. Two buildings include 39 one and two bedroom open-plan homes, fitted out to the highest specification as standard. There are two landscaped communal gardens, secure cycle storage and off-street parking, including accessible bays. Perfectly located in the vibrant district of Chorlton, an array of restaurants, bars, cafes, delicatessens and independent shops are a short walk away. Adjacent bus, tram and protected cycle route links can take purchasers to the city centre and airport within minutes. The development overlooks Chorlton Park and is a few minutes’ walk from the River Mersey, water parks, nature reserves and trails. As part of registered provider Southway Housing Trust, Gecko’s experienced housing professionals can support purchasers at every stage.

Westwood Acres, Love Living Homes’ pioneering new shared ownership development in the seaside town of Broadstairs in Kent, is a truly exemplary and innovative offering for first time buyers. On-site completion in early 2023, Westwood Acres will comprise 86 two and three bedroom modular homes and 10 four bedroom traditionally built homes; first time buyers on a budget will not only benefit from a woodland setting, modern living spaces and a high specification included as standard, but exceptional sustainability credentials seldom found in an affordable home. Priced from £88,850 for a 30% share of a two bedroom house with a 10% deposit of just £8,850, every home has achieved a rare Energy Performance Certificate rating of A; this superb development is delivering affordability not only at the point of purchase but in the day-to-day running of every home, especially crucial when energy bills and the cost of living is soaring.

Kidbrooke Square is an exciting new development in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, set to become a vibrant new piece of south east London. Located in the wider scheme is a stunning collection of one and two bedroom apartments available to purchase off-plan through shared ownership with Notting Hill Genesis. These homes are ideally suited to first time buyers looking for modern living and affordability balanced with space, style, quality and convenience in contemporary surroundings. Buyers will be part of a flourishing new community at Kidbrooke, and with a short commute to central London, will get the best of city living while enjoying nearby green, open space. Kidbrooke Square has sustainability at its heart, with active travel routes, green rooftops, and renewable energy embraced throughout. These stunning shared ownership apartments are available to purchase off-plan, with Notting Hill Genesis’ expert sales team, first-class show homes and innovative marketing suite technology taking buyers through the process smoothly.

Edinburgh Way by Weston Homes is a development of 361 one to three bedroom apartments in Harlow, starting from just £229,000 and available using Help to Buy and Weston Homes First-Time SecureBuy, allowing buyers to secure their first home at today’s prices while saving more deposit. The development, with striking contemporary brick and glass facades, offers superbly equipped homes at sensible prices. Perfectly located two minutes’ walk from the station, the apartments at Edinburgh Way have a wide selection of layouts for every preference. Set in five blocks around a landscaped garden, homes have spacious, open-plan living/kitchen/dining areas, with almost all enjoying a balcony or terrace. Their specification far surpasses most starter homes; kitchens have quartz stone worksurfaces and are equipped with a boiling water tap, fridge-freezer, washer-dryer and dishwasher, while principal bedrooms have fitted mirrored wardrobes. Buyers can personalise their apartment with a range of kitchens, vanity units and flooring.

Judges Unsung Star

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This award for will recognise the outstanding contribution made by one individual to the first time buyer market. The award will celebrate the work of an individual who through their innovative approach to the market has continually helped first time buyers overcome the usual challenges faced in this sector.

This award will be judged by judges only.

Niall Cleghorn began his property career as an estate agent for a large corporate agency eight years ago, where he progressed from a trainee negotiator to a senior sales negotiator, before moving on to an independent agent in London. In 2016, he was inspired to focus his efforts on the shared ownership sector and joined the SO Resi team in north London.

Niall is a quick learner and has consistently made an outstanding contribution to the first time buyer market. He is a hardworking and diligent sales consultant, bringing a positive attitude to the workplace, motivating his colleagues and acting as a role model. Niall goes above and beyond to help first time buyers, ensuring he is always available to provide help, advice or reassurance. Purchaser reviews unequivocally support this, often crediting Niall’s support as being the main reason for their home purchase.

Niall has proven to be an excellent ambassador for SO Resi over the past five years, advocating for first time buyers and the power of shared ownership at every industry event he attends, something which is recognised by everyone around him. Niall’s sales success will remain the bedrock of his future career, but his natural people skills mean that his management career in the future will be something to look out for. He has huge potential for leadership and has the makings of a property industry leader – he is nothing short of a rising star.

Craig’s passion to help people own their own home is second to none. A true Londoner, he is fully aware of the challenges faced by young people trying to get on the property ladder and he goes above and beyond to assist first time buyers. Craig is one of the most highly respected and hard-working individuals in the housing sector. He is known for his passion and integrity, and believes in creating opportunities for first time buyers and young people. His passion to support youngsters continues outside work where he has been heavily involved in football coaching at his local team. 

He started his housing career at SiteSales, where he was soon securing work from a vast range of housing providers and delivered positive impact to everyone he worked with. His career started as Head of Communications, which was a natural role for Craig who is a broadcaster and fundraiser for Radio Northwick Park – a local hospital radio. A person who cares about people and the housing industry, he was soon putting his communication skills to use by building relationships and developing business opportunities.

 A true gentleman, he is always willing to support those in the industry, giving a professional and friendly shoulder to anyone needing help – a trusted, loyal mentor for many. Craig is an unsung and much-loved person who has built a successful career supporting housing providers. He has never forgotten his childhood housing arrangements which puts fire into his belly to make positive changes for those who, without the help of affordable homeownership, may never achieve the opportunity to buy a property to call home.  

Scott joined Direction Law in 2017 as a member of our New Business Team. From interview, it was clear Scott was going to bring such positive energy to the team. He built instant rapport with colleagues, clients and referrers, so when an opportunity arose for Scott to take a role within Business Development it was a perfect fit. 

Scott dedicated a number of years spending weekends travelling across the breadth of the country to both market Direction Law’s services and also to show support for housing associations, financial advisers and sector events, which is where he has made so many connections.   

His career has now gone a stage further where he has progressed to Business Development Executive within the BD and marketing team, looking after accounts that refer work to the firm, seeking to deliver on customer service which encompasses Scott’s conscientious nature. 

Scott genuinely cares about people. The connections he makes through work he invests fully in. He’ll remember people’s football teams, the names of their kids and he’ll reach out in a human way. Scott’s enthusiasm and energy is unrivalled. He is supportive, kind, bright, caring for his colleagues, proud of his work. He has a heart of gold. He’s an absolute credit to Direction Law and he would never consider himself a nominee, which is why he deserves it so very much.

With a lifelong career in affordable housing Jane has helped hundreds of first time buyers become homeowners. She has climbed the career ladder predominantly in sales and marketing roles and has gained a reputation for her hard work and consistent level of truthful and honest marketing. 

With more than 20 years’ experience in the affordable homeownership market, for Southern Housing Group, Galleons Housing Association, Clarion, Redloft and Optivo, Jane is one of the people in the industry who have pushed for improvements in the delivery of shared ownership. 

Jane has been quietly involved in improving the experience of buying a first home. Her work involved working in repairs and defects so she understands that the success of a home is not just the sale but also the way that repairs are undertaken – a wider customer experience that providers must appreciate being the landlord and having a long-term commitment.  

Her passion for the industry is second to none. Over the years she has developed and nurtured many staff. Currently Head of Sales and Marketing at Optivo, she is delivering a range of exciting projects across London and the South. She is a very well-known and highly regarded person who has gained a respect from her teams. She is isn’t a person who shouts about her achievements, but now is the time she should be recognised for her work, done with humility and enjoyment. 

For more information of each of the categories, including specific criteria the judges will be looking at, please download an ENTRY PACK by clicking:  FTB-Awards-Entry-Pack-2021