Award Categories 2021
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 developer’s performance.
Barratt Developments is Britain’s largest and best-known housebuilder, and the only major national housebuilder to achieve the maximum 5 Star rating in the HBF New Homes Customer Satisfaction Survey for a record 12 years in a row. Through the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Barratt has continued to deliver the high standard of service its buyers have come to expect, while maintaining its focus on health and safety, quality and sustainability. With the help of schemes such as the Armed Forces Contribution scheme and NHS Deposit Contribution scheme, it has made it possible for thousands of first time buyers to afford to buy five-star quality properties, at a time when staying in your home has been the focal point of so much of our lives.
Inland Homes is a leading developer in the South and South East of England, building affordably priced properties of exceptional quality which people are proud to call home. Each development is designed to suit modern lifestyles – individually tailored to the location, with carefully considered open spaces, landscaping, play areas and other amenities vital in creating a community that works. With Help to Buy available on a wide range of apartments and houses, Inland has helped first time buyers take their first step on to the ladder. Particularly successful developments with the first time buyer market include Centre Square in High Wycombe, and both Chapel Riverside and Meridian Waterside in Southampton. 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. Feedback is used to improve the design of homes, with layouts continually reviewed to suit customers’ needs. As a result, many Inland purchasers have recommended developments to others and bought more than one property from the company.
With stunning developments across Kent, Sussex and Surrey, Millwood Designer Homes offers a broad collection of individually designed homes that are ideal for a variety of homebuyers, including first time buyers.
At Bakers Field in Cliffsend, a stunning coastal collection of 31 two to five bedroom homes nestled just five minutes from the Kent coastline at Pegwell Bay, the smaller properties offered first time buyers an affordable route into homeownership through the Help to Buy scheme (2013-2021), with prices starting from as little as £265,000. Similarly, at The Maltings, Millwood has provided a unique hamlet-style development of 45 one to six bedroom houses, located in a countryside setting in Biddenden, Kent. Perfect for those looking for a change of lifestyle, these attractive new homes have proven popular with first time buyers looking to reap the rewards of a hassle-free new build, especially through the Help to Buy scheme (2013-2021 and 2021-2023).
Affordable Housing Provider of the Year
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.
Abri is one of the largest housing providers in southern England. It owns and manages 35,000 homes and works on behalf of 80,000 customers in areas including Bristol, Southampton, Windsor and Yeovil. As a large-scale organisation it is committed to tackling the housing crisis, with plans to build at least 1,000 new homes a year until 2030, many of which will be affordable. With a history spanning almost 100 years, Abri has an eye on the future, collaborating with some of the UK’s leading thinktanks, policymakers, and researchers to find better, greener ways of working. Abri works closely with key stakeholders including local authorities, the Government, NHS and community groups, to listen to and respond in a way that best suits them. It strives to tackle homelessness, create equality of opportunity, improve health and wellbeing, enhance life chances, and make a positive impact on the world around us.
In Ealing, where first time buyers struggle to get on the property ladder, Broadway Living is driving real transformation by boosting the supply of homes at accessible prices, which is helping to fund more homes for social rent. At its flagship development Copley W7 – the inspired revitalisation of a run-down estate in Hanwell – 114 of the 280 new homes being delivered will be available through Help to Buy or shared ownership. They are to the same high standards of design and build as delivered by the UK’s leading housebuilders. The remaining 166 homes are for social and intermediate rent, with all residents enjoying a thriving modern neighbourhood with new public areas and amenities. The success of Copley W7 has been such that Ealing council is investing £390m in Broadway Living to build 1,500 homes over the next six years, opening up home ownership to many more first time buyers.
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, as well as offering affordable rent and open market sales. Constantly innovating, the group has conducted research into shared ownership with Cambridge University to help shape its offering, presents crystal-clear marketing materials to demystify the tenure and creates a wide range of new homes from apartments in repurposed buildings to new family houses. It forms strategic, dynamic partnerships to promote shared ownership, with a new SO Resi Agency to help buyers find a home and support the market and links with housebuilders bringing homes into use more quickly.
A medium-sized organisation having a big impact on the communities in which it works, Origin Housing has continued to support first time buyers on to the ladder throughout the pandemic – offering the best in customer service and highest quality homes. Origin Housing is committed to helping fix the housing crisis, through providing expert advice, skills and knowledge to help more customers step on to the property ladder. In 2020/21, Origin Housing hit a new landmark, as it now owns and manages over 7,000 homes, while in the next five years, the organisation will build another 500 homes. Going above and beyond for its residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020, Origin Housing delivered organic food parcels directly to residents in need, and identified and called nearly 1,400 older and vulnerable residents to make sure they had access to the support they needed.
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.
This small six-unit development in Station Road, Chingford, E4, came from a developer whose early career evolved working on super high-end developments and interior design, which coupled with a grounded family upbringing, motivated an attitude to bring quality finishes and product to more realistically priced homes. Clayton Lyon’s knowledge of materials and technologies within sustainability and construction allows him to offer more affordable, bespoke design within very spacious homes, targeting entry level prices of the housing market. This development’s tight 3.3m access created a considerable and difficult logistical challenge, coupled with a complex top-down steel frame construction and plunge piling network. This included a large green field discharge rated compliant subterranean concrete storm tank. The finishes are bespoke, as is the interior design to each apartment. Commitment is given to ensure a large amenity space, which is thoughtfully landscaped. Internal communal areas are finished in the same brick face as the external stock bricks, and the glass balustrading and brushed chrome frame finishes the exterior well.
Tucked away in a corner of Flixton in Trafford, Greater Manchester, this small development consists of only four two bedroom semi-detached homes. Sympathetically built within an established residential area and carefully designed to complement the surrounding neighbouring homes, these homes sit discreetly off Dunster Drive. It’s an enviable location that has successfully managed to carve out a tranquil environment through clever use of space and enjoys uninterrupted views of horses in the fields to its side. There’s not many places where you can enjoy views like these within an urban metropolis. Designed with affordability in mind, these homes are offered to purchase on a shared ownership basis, which allows residents to buy a share of their home, starting from only 40%, and rent the remaining share. These two bedroom homes are targeted at first time buyers and are ideal starter homes for those looking to get on to the property ladder and also perfect for new families looking to start a new chapter in their lives. They come packed with modern features including patio doors that extend into the garden for contemporary living and modern conveniences like the downstairs WC, essential when raising young ones.
Comprising just 39 one and two bedroom apartments on Oldfield Road in Maidenhead, Venue is a striking development set over just three levels, within a few minutes’ walk of the town centre, rail station and the River Thames. Planned around the busy lifestyle of young professional singles and couples, each spacious apartment features a sleek, grey Nobilia kitchen with fully integrated appliances, underfloor heating throughout and hyperoptic broadband for increased working from home and streaming in leisure time. Stunning glass-fronted balconies, landscaped communal grounds and secure undercroft parking add to the executive detailing and inspiring environment. Three-quarters of the homes already reserved at Venue have been secured by first time buyers taking advantage of the perfect balance of aspirational location, high specification and enviable design. One bedroom apartment prices start at just £290,000, rising to £360,000 for a two bedroom apartment.
Culverley Gardens offers first time buyers the winning combination of exclusively affordable housing, Edwardian-inspired architecture, outdoor spaces for each home and inclusive design for wheelchair users, all in the heart of Catford, London. Designed by award-winning Alan Camp Architects and built by developer Skillcrown, the Moat Homes development repurposed a garden centre into 27 one, two and three bedroom apartments to meet growing housing need. Twenty-five apartments were earmarked for shared ownership, and two provide homes for affordable rent. First time buyers have been delighted with the excellent location, transport links, and features that aren’t often seen in new build apartments, such as large bay windows, private south-facing balconies or gardens for each apartment, and private entrances to ground-floor properties. As Lewisham Council seeks to
meet targets of 2,700 new homes in Catford, Culverley Gardens has set a high bar for homes which combine outstanding style, affordability, location and function.
Situated within 15 minutes’ walk from Crowborough railway station, Woodpecker View is the transformation of the former council refuse depot. The 0.90-hectare site, located within a residential area, is excellent use of brownfield land. Just 34 homes are set in a cul-de-sac location and are ideal for first time buyers, second steppers or downsizers. This attractive collection of stylish homes of varying designs has been completed considerately, with the only additions needed being window dressings and furniture. Woodpecker View is home to a variety of mature trees and landscaped green spaces, including a natural wildlife buffer; a protected ecological habitat allowing native wildlife, flora and fauna to co-exist and thrive alongside new residents. The perfect combination; a chance to set up home in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, surrounded by places to walk and enjoy the great outdoors, only an hour’s commute from London.
87 Greenwich High Road comprises 14 one, two and three bedroom apartments, including two spectacular penthouse suites. Each home is at the forefront of design, featuring spacious dual-aspect open-plan layouts, south-facing balconies and a number of high-tech sustainable features, including state-of-the-art Wondrwall home-automation systems in every apartment. The elegant development has a distinctive pillared facade and the wide balconies help to maximise internal light and provide pleasing vistas out across Greenwich. The building is entered via the residents’ entrance, controlled by Bticino visual entry system that can be used from residents’ smartphones. From here, residents can access their post from MySmartBox parcel lockers, a private lift to upper levels and secure bicycle storage.
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 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.
Faversham Lakes is an impressive and innovative development from leading construction and property company Anderson. Once complete, it will boast 330 two, three, four and five bedroom contemporary homes set in a 100-acre plot that includes a vast country park teaming with wildlife habitats, designated footpaths, reedbeds, lagoons, bird hides and orchards. The scheme expands on the concept of boundless living with houses embracing spacious open-plan living as well as the idea of bringing the outside in. The development presents superb opportunities for first time buyers with 35% affordable housing included along with a range of different size options and price points and access to the Help to Buy scheme. In addition, it offers excellent transport links, education provision and community assets which all tie into the development ethos of “room to grow, room to play and room to live”.
Kingsbrook in Aylesbury is a mixed-use development of nearly 2,500 new homes split into three villages. The scheme, by Barratt David Wilson Homes, has nature and wildlife at its heart, with 60% of the land given over to open spaces, including a 250-acre nature reserve, allotments, community orchards, parks and playgrounds. The developers have worked with the RSPB and Aylesbury Vale District Council to make Kingsbrook the UK’s first fully nature-friendly housing development, and it has achieved Built for Life status. The wide range of one to five bedroom houses on offer provides something for everyone, including one, two and three bedroom homes that are perfect for first time buyers, available with Help to Buy from £250,000. Kingsbrook has brought great improvements to the area, including an expanded bus service, new cyclepaths and walking trails, new schools, a health centre, community halls and a wide range of leisure and sporting facilities.
With hundreds of people now living in the thriving new community of Ladden Garden Village outside Bristol, this development is rapidly becoming one of South Gloucestershire’s most sought-after destinations. Almost 2,500 homes will be built at Ladden Garden Village, surrounded by 32 acres of public open space, including three acres of allotments and 4.5 km of cycleways and footpaths. Offering a full range of stylish, contemporary homes from Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes, the development sits on the outskirts of the flourishing town of Yate, south west of the Cotswolds, and within easy reach of both Bristol and Bath city centres. In total, 159 first time buyers have already made Ladden Garden Village their home, in more than half (55%) of the homes sold so far.
Greenwich Millennium Village is a joint venture development by Countryside and Taylor Wimpey, in association with the Mayor of London. Characterised by its green surrounds and set beside the River Thames, the development includes a four-acre Ecology Park and a large open park, known as Southern Park. Greenwich Millennium Village is a beacon for how large, modern, urban development can move beyond the numbers to create places people love. Ultimately it will create more than 2,800 new homes, set within distinct neighbourhoods and designed with landscaped courtyards linked by tree-lined avenues creating a village feel. Already home to a wellestablished community, the development’s village square, Oval Square, has everything a place needs to thrive. There is also the Outstanding Ofsted-rated Millennium Primary school and a nursery for children aged up to four, Millennium Minis.
East Wick + Sweetwater (EW+S) is a new, residential-led mixed use community on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Delivered in joint venture by Places for People and Balfour Beatty Investments, on behalf of London Legacy Development Corporation, EW+S has been designed by a team of leading architects including Sheppard Robson, Studio Egret West, A-Studio and Piercy & company, alongside landscape architects Fabrik London. EW+S seeks to create a new community that seamlessly connects Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with Hackney Wick & Fish Island, eventually bringing more than 1,800 homes (through a range of tenures), new green spaces and play areas alongside commercial opportunities for local businesses to thrive. Phase one is almost complete, including over 300 homes (more than 40% of which are affordable) alongside a nursery, commercial spaces and new open spaces. Clarnico Club serves as the beating heart of the new neighbourhood, acting as a multi-purpose social hub with a cafe, flexible event space as well as a marketing hub. As part of phase one, in partnership with Make Shift, EW+S and LLDC have opened Hackney Bridge, an exciting new canalside destination with workspaces, markets, restaurants and bars.
We believe Garden City Homes based in Wythenshawe, south Manchester, is a developer making a difference, by putting customers and social value at the heart of everything we do. Our £26m Scholars Fields development, part-funded with a £3.3m grant from Homes England, is located in leafy Wythenshawe, eight miles from Manchester city centre. The development comprises 147 new homes, offering 80 for shared ownership, 29 for outright sale and 38 rent to buy apartments. It has an impressive track record with the benefits it has provided to the local community such as training and job opportunities, as well as providing much-needed homes for the area. In total, the development has achieved an impressive £5,422,978 social return on investment, this includes local labour and spend and is 27.7% of the overall project value.
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.
Base at Newhall is establishing a distinctive, family friendly neighbourhood on the outskirts of Harlow, Essex, introducing around 700 homes, extensive new green spaces, amenities and public realm. One house type proving popular with families is The Spirit, a three bedroom, two-storey house spanning 844 sq ft. Designed to be as practical and liveable as it is stylish, it provides abundant space for all the family with a contemporary open-plan kitchen and dining room, separate living room and three generous bedrooms. Providing much-desired outside space, The Spirit boasts a private rear garden, and as part of the wider neighbourhood design, will be within 60m of public greenery or landscaping. Ranging from £403,000 to £410,000, and with Help to Buy available, The Spirit sits at the heart of this exciting new urban village and presents the perfect place for families looking for more for their money, yet without compromising on style, quality or convenience.
With half of all purchases made by first time buyers, The Tate at Laureate Fields is a three bedroom family house with a generously sized rear garden, private driveway and carport. This contemporary home features a luxurious master bedroom with a his-and-hers dressing area and en suite; an open-plan downstairs space stylishly finished with engineered oak flooring; and German-engineered designer kitchens with a full range of integrated Bosch appliances, Silestone composite stone worktops and a wine cooler. The house also benefits from bi-fold doors opening on to the garden from the unique vaulted dining area; oak-veneered doors with chrome handles; and brushed steel sockets and light switches throughout. The development is situated next to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that stretches north from the sea along the banks of the River Deben. Prices start from £399,500 and Help to Buy is available.
The three bedroom Hatton home is one of Hayfield’s most popular house designs, having recently been delivered at developments in Warwickshire and Bedfordshire. It is priced from £300,000. Featuring 1,185 sq ft of space, the Hatton hits the mark with first time buyers due to its three double bedrooms, beautiful kitchen and integral garage. Those making their first step on to the property ladder can visualise starting a family without needing to move. The kitchen/diner incorporates well thought-out features such as ceiling-high cupboards for a sleek look and additional storage. There is a sitting room across the rear of the property, with double doors leading on to the private garden. Heritage bronze ironmongery and Farrow & Ball paint accompany you as you make your way up the first floor, where the three large bedrooms are found, along with a family bathroom and en suite to the principal bedroom that both feature contemporary ROCA suites.
Bakers Field is a coastal collection of 31 high-quality two to five bedroom houses in Cliffsend, Kent, offering first time buyers an affordable route into homeownership with the Help to Buy scheme. Nestled close to the idyllic inlet of Pegwell Bay and surrounded by a number of outstanding education options, transport links and leisure facilities, the three bedroom link-detached show home, The Rolvenden, carefully combines a charming, characterful design with adaptable interiors, to create an exceptional family home that does not compromise on style or quality. With an attractive barn-style exterior design, alongside a stylish yet functional living space, the property delivers an exceptional first time buyer property completed to a superior standard. The home epitomises value for money for a high-quality property in a desirable coastal location, priced at £410,500, and with Help to Buy available to further assist first time buyer families purchase a luxury home with just a 5% deposit.
Sycamore Gardens in Great Sutton, Cheshire, is the perfect location for families looking to lay down roots, boasting highly rated schools on your doorstep, excellent transport links, easy access to some of Cheshire’s top family attractions, and even its very own natural play area. Built to meet the needs of modern-day family living, the detached Aspen home at Sycamore Gardens features four generously sized bedrooms, contemporary bathrooms, a well-proportioned, flexible living space, a good-sized garden, and off-street parking for multiple cars. This part of west Cheshire is considered to be one of the least affordable areas in the North West. However, The Aspen, which is priced at £106,000 for 40% shared ownership, with a full market value of £265,000, offers local families the opportunity to buy a quality new build home which may have otherwise been outside of reach.
The regeneration of Port Loop in Birmingham is well underway – creating an exciting new island community ideal for first time buyers with families. For years, this unused urban island – encircled by the Birmingham Canal Old Line and the Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line – had remained vacant. Joint developers Places for People and Urban Splash, working in partnership with landowners Canal and River Trust and Birmingham City Council, are transforming the space, creating a new, 43-acre waterside neighbourhood filled with more than 1,150 new homes, commercial workspaces, parks, green spaces and community facilities. Sixty homes have already been delivered, with full completion of this new neighbourhood by 2030. Homes at Port Loop have been designed with first time buyers of family homes in mind. Located just 15 minutes’ walk from Birmingham City Centre, Port Loop has a strong sense of freedom and play with its traffic-free green streets, communal gardens, public parks and playgrounds.
Rose Garden by Southern Home Ownership is a collection of 62 homes, just outside the leafy village of Cranleigh, Surrey. Offering 22 three and four bedroom houses, the development is ideal for families looking to put down roots in a Surrey town. With shared ownership homes rarely available in more rural areas, Rose Garden offers a pocket of affordability in one of England’s most expensive counties – with starting prices for a three bedroom house at almost a quarter of the price of an average detached house in the area. Perfect for families, there are two new play areas on site, and once complete, the development will also offer a new pond and a network of footpaths, making travel across the development safer for children. Designed with family living in mind, homes offer spacious open-plan layouts throughout and ample built-in storage, plus a private turfed garden, garaging and a driveway for multiple cars.
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 flair, both inside and out.
An impressive collection of 65 shared ownership apartments in immensely wellconnected West Drayton, Waterside Heights by Be West offers first time buyers the very best in apartment living. A place where spacious homes, each with private outside space, are set within attractive private, fully landscaped communal grounds alongside the Grand Union Canal, Waterside Heights offers a chance for first time buyers to put down roots in an increasingly popular west London suburb. Builtaround fully landscaped communal gardens exclusively for residents, Waterside Heights features larger than average interiors highlighting that apartment living doesn’t have to come at the sacrifice of space. Helping to keep costs down for new homeowners, Waterside Heights offers lower than average service charges – helped by photovoltaic roof panels – and no charge for ground rent. Rare for shared ownership apartments, Waterside Heights is 100% pet friendly – meaning that Waterside Heights offers the perfect home for every member of the family.
Defined by affordability, a glorious Surrey location and stunning private and communal outside space featuring podium gardens and a magnificent roof terrace, Ascot House earns its status as an impressive first time buyer residence. Exclusively available through shared ownership and moments away from Staines-upon- Thames’ bustling high street and train station, the location is complemented with quieter pockets of green. The river provides a great focus for leisure and sports, with scenic Thameside paths for walking and cycling, boating and rowing. Buyers here will also benefit from superb travel links by road, rail and air, connecting them swiftly to central London, Heathrow airport and major motorways. Plot three represents a typical home here, showcasing carefully considered design, flexible living space and a deluxe finish. Paving the way for those wanting to take a step on to the property ladder, the evolving lifestyle needs of today’s first time buyers have been placed at the forefront in this spacious two bedroom apartment.
A striking collection of 62 one and two bedroom apartments available to purchase via shared ownership; Heron Quarter at Woodberry Down has proved the perfect choice for those looking to kick-start their homebuying journey. Apartment two is a bright and airy one bedroom property, with an open-plan living space, full-height windows and a large private terrace that clearly demonstrates the lifestyle on offer here. A partnership between Berkeley Homes, Hackney Council and Notting Hill Genesis, Woodberry Down exemplifies serene London living. Boasting a spectacular lakeside setting facing the West Reservoir and panoramic views of the London skyline, Woodberry Down has been designed to benefit its residents’ health and wellbeing. Residents can enjoy an already thriving community and a range of amenities, with the key focal point being the connectivity to a wealth of outside space this development offers. Located just a few minutes walk from Manor House underground station in Zone 2, there is no better place to explore what the city has to offer. Heron Quarter offers a lifestyle where first time buyers can immediately feel at home and discover their very own London oasis.
Farringdon Walks from One Housing offers aspirational first time buyers an incredible opportunity to purchase an affordable, premium apartment in one of the most exciting new developments in the heart of London. The exceptional flagship site unfolding at the historic Royal Mail Mount Pleasant sorting office boasts design flair from celebrated architectural studios Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio, Wilkinson Eyre, and Allies and Morrison, and covers a six-acre site, providing 681 new homes, over 20,000 sq ft of retail space, and beautifully landscaped public and private open spaces. One Housing’s exclusive one and two bedroom shared ownership apartments have a more generous square footage than average London pads in this location, and are quite simply outstanding value for the quality and size of the apartments and the sensational site proposition.
With picturesque views of the tranquil Southmere Lake and overlooking the bustling Cygnet Square, the collection of apartments in Swift Court offers more than just a place to live for first time buyers. These homes offer a place to explore with new shops, leisure, fitness, resident and commercial facilities. A place to be creative, with a regular programme of co-designed activities and community initiatives in place. A place to be connected within a 10-minute walk, where Abbey Wood station is soon to be home to the Elizabeth Line. And a place to relax and escape as there’s nowhere in London with the amount of green spaces and waterways than in Thamesmead. Offering true affordability to first time buyers, the apartments are already 70% sold within one month of launch. The time for Thamesmead to realise its full potential and become London’s New Town has begun.
At Varcoe Road SE16, Pocket Living has created the ideal first time buyer apartment. This development of 57 affordable homes in Zone 2 delivers what first time buyers really want from their homes: affordability, a well-designed home near the centre of London and thoughtfully created communal areas. All of these homes are affordable, sold at a discount of 20% from the local market to first time buyers in the area, and are owned 100%. The award-winning Pocket home is designed to be a comfortable, highly functional first home, making the best use of every inch of available space and incorporating features that fit the way London’s first time buyers live. The five communal areas at Varcoe Road have been created to enhance residents’ quality of life, from the co-working room and the double-height sun room to the three landscaped terraces with views over London, these spaces allow residents to meet and encourage a sense of community.
Best Law Firm for Conveyancing
This award celebrates law firms with outstanding conveyancing packages for first time buyers.
Cavendish Legal Group uses a onestop app that puts homebuyers in control of their conveyancing and enables them to track the progress of their case directly from a mobile device. First time buyers fill in an enquiry form and receive an itemised quote within two hours. A member of our specialist onboarding team contacts them the same day and if they wish to proceed they can download the app. Clients receive a welcome pack and we guide them through it explaining everything, such as which documents to provide. All documentation can be uploaded on the app, including ID verification, and we even accept electronic signatures. The app reduces the time it takes for a customer to navigate the paperwork down from an average of three weeks to just 15 minutes.
Direction Law is one of the most established and largest specialist affordable housing solicitors in the country. In 2020-21 alone, we completed over 3,000 shared ownership 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.
Helping first time buyers, Lawcomm Solicitors is a specialist conveyancing firm that, for over 20 years, has been working throughout the UK with first time buyers of shared ownership and new build homes. We are recommended by many housing associations, developers and mortgage brokers as they recognise that their clients will benefit from friendly, expert legal advice, delivered by solicitors who are experts in this sector. We offer shared ownership, resale, staircasing, re-mortgaging and transfer of equity services to buyers from our housing association partners, plus new build and Help to Buy: Equity Loan services to buyers from private developers. We are a customer-focused firm, which concentrates on delivering an exemplary service to all the parties involved in these complex transactions, specially first time buyers, who need most assistance with their first purchase. Consequently, we have developed an enviable reputation leading to a stream of recommendations from developers, housing associations and mortgage brokers. • Specialist Knowledge • Fixed Fees
• No Move No Fee Policy • Friendly and Experienced Case Handlers • Easy to Complete Digital Documents • Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme Accredited.
Prince Evans Solicitors LLP is a multi discipline law firm based in Ealing. Prince Evans Solicitors LLP New Build Homes and Conveyancing team specialises in all aspects of conveyancing for the first time buyer. We benefit from 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 to homeownership every year and in the past 12 months we have grown even further, assisting many more first time buyers.
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.
Countryside Zest is a 50/50 joint venture between Countryside Properties PLC and L&Q, set up to ensure the successful delivery of Beaulieu – one of the most important new developments in Essex, a sustainable urban expansion for Chelmsford. It was born from a shared vision between the partners, and the result of extensive partnership working with Chelmsford City Council and Highways England. Beaulieu demonstrates what can be achieved through combined strategy, to create a vibrant, integrated community that offers a blend of inspirational architecture, attractive landscaping and public realm, a plethora of amenities, new transport connections including a train station, sports facilities, community gardens and more. The landmark 610-acre development, set in King Henry VIII’s former hunting grounds, brings together quality new homes in a range of styles to suit different tastes, preferences and income levels; one bedroom apartments to six bedroom houses are available through private sale with Help to Buy, shared ownership and rent.
Forstal Mead in Coxheath, Kent, is a collaboration in partnership between Optivo and Westerhill Homes, which is part of Chartway Group. The 210 homes range from two bedroom apartments to five bedroom family homes. There’s an inclusive tenure mix of affordable rent, shared ownership and private sale, meaning we can provide something for every situation and budget. The cross-selling strategy means that buyers interested in a private sale home who aren’t in a position to buy can be given the alternative of shared ownership. The collaboration between the two sales teams ensures customers can find out how the affordable option works and if it’s right for them. We’ve continued the collaborative ethos by using the same branding across tenures. This means the homes are promoted in a way that’s tenure blind, effectively removing biases towards or against a particular type. This way we can truly build a community without a hierarchy.
A partnership between Origin Housing and Hill, Harrow One has completely transformed a disused and derelict area in the heart of Harrow into a place that everyone can be proud of. Alongside 54 homes for shared ownership and 119 for outright sale, the project creates a public plaza with a retail unit, next to Harrow’s shopping area, as well as a brand new church hall. Delivering for first time buyers, this strategic partnership made it possible to deliver more affordable housing, more generous property sizes and a higher specification than initially planned. Despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, homes were completed three months ahead of schedule, meaning eager first time buyers were able to move into their homes quickly. A sought-after scheme, outright sale homes that launched in 2020 are now 95% sold – ahead of targets. Shared ownership homes were 30% sold within weeks of launch, with priority given to Harrow residents.
Best Use of Interactive Tools
This exciting new 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.
Barratt Developments is Britain’s largest and best-known housebuilder, and a leader in helping first time buyers get on the housing ladder. Following the coronavirus pandemic and the onset of Government restrictions, Barratt realised that in order to meet the needs of its customers across the country, it had to find a way to give its buyers an opportunity to “view” the homes available in a safe and secure way
– from the comfort of their own home. By investing in new interactive tools and virtual viewings, it was able to continue to deliver the first-class customer service its buyers expect, supporting the economy and helping first time buyers and second steppers on to the ladder throughout the pandemic, despite the challenges posed by lockdown restrictions.
ThinkHub+ – an innovative new online system, pioneered by Ealing Council’s development arm Broadway Living – is revolutionising the way first time buyers access information. This highly interactive customer experience goes far beyond traditional “virtual tour” software, delivering a life-like alternative to a show home visit. Engaging and easy to use, ThinkHub+ provides a detailed interactive tour of every apartment type together with communal spaces, landscaping and other outdoor amenities. Accessible on any device, at any time or place, customers can generate a CGI to keep at any stage of their tour. Designed for Ealing Council by
Think BDW, ThinkHub+ was introduced during lockdown in England to support the launch of new homes at Broadway Living’s Copley W7 development in Ealing. ThinkHub+ is proving popular with first time buyers – especially those buying off-plan, who welcome the reassurance of visualising their specific home – and is leading the future of digital customer experiences.
Catalyst’s thirst to do things differently has propelled it into the forefront of digital innovation in the property market. Its “Drive to Digital Strategy” saw the leading housing association use interactive tools to both draw buyers to Catalyst as well as streamline the buying process, with its significant investment in digital technology putting it in prime position to adapt to the challenges of Covid-19. A new digitally optimised website launched in March 2020, presenting Catalyst’s range of developments alongside a mix of educational and news content. Meanwhile, its ground-breaking virtual preview events saw Catalyst continue to launch new developments online throughout 2020, offering first time buyers new opportunities to get on to the property ladder. Capitalising on non-traditional digital marketing tools, such as Sky AdSmart television campaigns, influencer activity and extensive video content, Catalyst managed to engage with more customers than ever before, resulting in a record year for sales.
East Wick + Sweetwater (EW+S) is a new, residential-led mixed use community in the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Delivered in a joint venture by Places for People and Balfour Beatty Investments, on behalf of London Legacy Development Corporation, EW+S has been designed by a team of leading architects including Sheppard Robson, Studio Egret West, A-Studio and Piercy & Company, alongside landscape architects Fabrik London. Eventually bringing more than 1,800 new homes available through a wide mix of tenure, this major new community will also see new schools, nurseries and community spaces flourish. Phase one includes over 300 homes alongside commercial spaces, new open spaces and a play area. Marketed exclusively via digital channels until the launch of the marketing hub, EW+S is unique in that no printed marketing materials have been created. Instead, the team has focused on a highly interactive, digital user experience to attract purchasers, many of them first time buyers, centered around a three-dimensional virtual world, an engaging website, social media and videos. This approach carries all the way through the selling process – done mostly through e-signing – as well as aftercare with a 24/7 customer portal.
Innovation has been and continues to be a key focus for Miller Homes. Our overall digital strategy is designed to enhance the customer journey, underpinning the core value of our business ethos, The Miller Difference, which puts our customers at the heart of everything we do. We recognise that for many buyers, and in particular the first time buyer demographic, technology plays a significant part in their buying decisions and we continually invest and adapt to changing consumer behaviour to ensure we stay relevant and current. We have achieved this in many ways, including the introduction of an app of our My Miller Home customer portal and an online options visualiser, which allows customers to choose their options via the portal, to complement our ground-breaking online reservations system as well as successfully moving many of the key aspects of our customer journey online during 2020.
Swan Housing Association is revolutionising new homes by offering future residents of its Beechwood Development in Basildon, Essex, the ability to design their own homes, creating spaces that suit their lifestyles, needs and personal preferences – using a specially built online configurator. Such dreams are no longer reserved for the select few who could afford the luxury of planners, architects, interior designers and stylists. Customers can use the interactive tool to design their homes from inside out and top to bottom, before they are built to spec in our modular factory in Basildon and then assembled on site. Once customers select their preferred house
type, they can choose external finishes such as roof tiling, doors and windows and set out the internal layout before adding finishes such as sockets and taps. Creating somewhere that they can truly feel at home, all at the click of a button.
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.
Capturing the spirit of an aspirational south west London lifestyle, Catalyst’s show home at The Switch shapes a vision for young and creative Londoners to picture themselves stepping on to the property ladder in a thriving location equidistant between Earlsfield and Wimbledon. The way in which we use our homes has changed over the course of the last year, making flexible spaces more important than ever. The one bedroom show home at The Switch highlights the ways first time buyers can turn a one bedroom home into a versatile, multi-use space tailored
to their needs. Clever furniture placement, creative storage solutions and striking design features maximise the interior space, while on-trend accessories and simple touches buyers could replicate themselves create a design that has helped The Switch to become Catalyst’s fastest-selling site in London.
Working with housing provider Optivo, we were asked to create a sophisticated three bedroom show home on a development of 30 homes in the popular village of Ringmer in Sussex. The development included 22 shared ownership properties and featured a mix of houses and apartments.
We designed an aspirational home for first time buyers, couples and young families to appeal both to a local audience and those looking to move from urban built-up areas to a picturesque countryside setting. Much of our inspiration came from the local area, the Sussex Downs and the nearby city of Brighton.
Our design was heavily influenced by the rural surroundings and we combined this with luxury touches to echo the atmosphere experienced at the popular Soho Farmhouse; creating a calm and comfortable family home that was also affordable and attainable for first time buyers. optivosales.co.uk/developments/levett-fields
Next is one of the most well-loved high street brands known for its quality yet affordable prices – perfect for first time buyers. We teamed up with the interior
designers at Next to style our spacious show home at Culverley Gardens situated in the heart of Catford. The development is a collection of one, two and three
bedroom apartments available for shared ownership from a 25% share. The exciting show apartment was popular with visitors who then used what they had seen as inspiration on how to decorate their own home. From the use of bold coloured featured walls and quirky wallpapers to the clever combination of accessories and textures – the techniques employed brought to life how a stylish home brimming with personality can be created on a budget. Any of the pieces from the show home that customers fell in love with could be purchased directly from the Next website.
Enjoying a prime east London position, halfway between the City and Canary Wharf, is Notting Hill Genesis’ The Kiln Works, where buyers can view a stylish one bedroom show apartment, and gain a tangible idea of what they can expect from a home at this versatile multi-tenure scheme in the heart of Limehouse E1. Designed to blend style with functionality, and with a clear industrial-style influence, the shared ownership show apartment demonstrates Notting Hill Genesis’ discerning attention to detail, with generous internal layouts, a polished specification, and a welcome expanse of private outdoor space. Cleverly dressed by Abode Interiors, this apartment reflects the creativity of the surrounding area, while using a range of materials that would fit well within a first time buyer budget. With a number of green hubs, niche independent retailers and galleries at the adjacent Commercial Road, and popular haunts of Shoreditch, Hoxton, and Brick Lane just a short hop from home, it is easy to see why this scheme appeals to creative professionals who are in search of high-quality, accessible, affordable homes in this exciting area.
We know that buying your first home is a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s both exciting and daunting in the same breath, and one of the biggest life decisions people make. At Montmorency Park we wanted to create a show home that felt warm, welcoming and aspirational, while ensuring that it was representative of a first time buyer’s budget for decorating and furnishing a new home. All of the furniture, soft furnishing, paint and accessories were sought through high street retailers or accessible on the open market, meaning customers could recreate the look and feel of the show home with no hidden costs. Our two bedroom show apartment was designed and crafted, echoing the Montmorency Park brand, using soft, earthy colours and abstract, mosaic patterns, enhancing the brand’s storytelling while creating a space that was inspirational, innovative and unique.
When Optivo was dressing the two bedroom show home at 415 Wick Lane, Hackney, in late 2020, the interior design brief requested consideration of the new factors affecting buyers, in particular more time spent at home. We wanted to create somewhere you’d do your workout in the morning. Where you’d curate your career. Where you’d lounge and laze. The total price for the fully dressed two bedroom show home came to under £20,000, including fitting costs, decorations, the works. This made the 415 Wick Lane show home something first time buyers could replicate themselves, or complement using their own personal pieces. Featuring affordable pieces that included materials such as marble, velvet, brass and oak, it was effectively striking the balance between aspiration and affordability. Paired with a unique, modern specification to the finished apartment, the fully dressed show home was perfectly appealing to a discerning Hackney Wick first time buyer.
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.
The campaign targeted the first time buyer (FTB) market in a fun/relevant way, increasing Bellway Homes brand perception and providing the target audience with helpful content to assist their buying journey. Social media influencers were split into three categories to provide the upmost insight: Bellway current homeowners, finance/mortgage experts and prospective first time buyers. While this campaign was active, the cladding scandal became a hot topic in the news and across social media. We proactively managed this risk of potential negative backlash by implementing strict targeting rules, as well as ensuring content produced was culturally relevant and scheduled correctly, eliminating any negative sentiments spilling on to the campaign. Additionally, during lockdown with work from home policies, the target audience were provided with guidance on how to own their dream Bellway home and move out of their parents’/rental property, as well as benefit from the Stamp Duty tax holiday and financial support for FTBs.
Metro Finance – 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 makingit even easier fo r buyers and housing associations. Can we do more? Always… working with lenders, regulators, and stakeholders to give shared ownership the positioning it deserves.
Undoubtedly an unsung hero of the sector, property consultancy Red Loft has been quietly having a major impact on the lives of first time buyers since it was established in 2002. A highly trusted supplier, the
company supports its clients (including housing associations, ALMOs, local authorities and private developers) to build better homes, and market them more effectively. Ultimately, Red Loft helps to raise the bar across the industry via a dual role: as a development consultancy and as a sales agent. As a development consultancy, the organisation works with some of London and the South East’s most important housing projects, helping developers to improve the standard of homes for first time buyers. As a sales agent, the team has this year supported more buyers than ever before. Testament to its winning formula, Red Loft starts this financial year with its largest sales pipeline to date.
SO Resi, the awardwinning 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 has just launched a new initiative, SO Resi Agency, which will make it far easier for buyers to find their dream home and will help to accelerate the delivery of more much-needed shared ownership properties on to the market. The aim of SO Resi Agency is to develop teamwork and collaboration with other housing providers, to help match would-be shared owners with properties around the country. SO Resi has noted an ever-increasing demand for shared ownership, with an average of 50,000-60,000 visitors to its website every month, so by allowing other providers to advertise their shared ownership properties on the same platform, SO Resi Agency will offer greater choice to first time buyers.
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.
Creating a brand new vibrant community for Swindon, the Wichelstowe development is one of the largest local authority joint venture agreements in the country and is being delivered by Barratt Developments and Swindon Borough Council. Overlooking the newly restored Wilts and Berks canal to the south of Swindon, Canalside is the first phase of the development offering a range of one and two bedroom apartments and two, three and four bedroom houses from Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes. So far, 37 first time buyers have bought homes, representing 62% of homes sold to date. Help to Buy has played an important role, with 86% of first time buyers using the scheme. A number of buyers have also benefited from Barratt Developments’ discount for NHS workers.
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 520 new one, two and three bedroom apartments, public amenity space, retail space and commercial buildings specifically reserved for marine-based businesses. The completed first three phases of Chapel Riverside herald the transformation of a derelict, underutilised city centre site on the west bank of the River Itchen, into a thriving “destination” district complete with vastly improved flood defences. Sales have remained buoyant through 2020-21, despite the pandemic, with 63 sales between March 2020 and March 2021. In total, 68% of these sales were to first time buyers, keen to take advantage of the high specification, enviable location and exceptional customer service.
With a strong focus on community, a careful balance of green open space and essential amenities and exceptional quality homes, L&Q at Kidbrooke Village is one of the South’s most impressive new developments. Available through shared ownership, L&Q’s collection of 379 one, two and three bedroom apartments offer first time buyers the chance to be part of the overall Kidbrooke Village development; a major regeneration by Berkeley Homes in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Homes are built to a high standard, with contemporary fittings and fixtures and plenty of natural light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. Set in 136 acres of open space, Kidbrooke Village has two parks and a nature reserve, while nearby Pegler Square offers an array of village amenities. On-site Kidbrooke Station offers services into London Bridge in 16 minutes.
Bakers Field is a coastal collection of 31 beautiful two to five bedroom houses in Cliffsend, Kent. Nestled in the idyllic inlet of Pegwell Bay in a highly desirable and well-connected location along the Kent coastline, the smaller properties offered first time buyers an affordable route into homeownership through the Help to Buy scheme. Each property has been designed to seamlessly blend in with the local Kent architecture, with stylish yet adaptable interiors to accommodate the changing everyday needs of first time buyers. The local community has also been considered in the wider development, providing new facilities such as a bus stop, new cycle links and road crossing points to ensure long-lasting community benefits, and a welcoming environment for first time buyer residents. Bakers Field presents an exceptional collection of new homes in an unrivalled location; a perfect, affordable choice for first time buyers looking for their first home in the south.
Occupying a dynamic east London Docklands location in the south of England, Royal Albert Wharf by Notting Hill Genesis offers a truly unique residential setting that is forging a thriving new destination and neighbourhood with community at its core. Forming an integral part of the regeneration of London’s Royal Docks, the development spans across multiple phases, delivering a diverse selection of homes that reflect the historical dockside vernacular. The current phase includes one, two and three bedroom apartments and duplexes available to purchase for private sale with London Help to Buy and shared ownership – perfectly catering for first time buyers in London who want affordability balanced with space, style, quality and convenience in contemporary surroundings. Following the successful first phase, the well-received second phase of the scheme brings a further 468 new homes and 2,200 sq m of commercial and retail space. New public spaces and riverside walkways are intertwined with stunning green landscaped areas, seamlessly integrating into what is rapidly becoming an established and vibrant new quarter in the capital.
With a 30-year vision, Peabody’s regeneration plans for Thamesmead are undoubtedly its most ambitious and notable to date. Southmere sits within the heart of Thamesmead; a new, much-needed, mixed-use development of 534 homes benefiting from a lakeside setting. A total of 45% of the homes are affordable, suiting the housing needs of a community in demand of financially viable options to homeownership. As well as creating new homes for existing and new residents, Peabody is taking a “whole place” approach to invigorate life at South Thamesmead with a unique cultural and commercial offer, new shops and amenities – providing jobs, a new public square, a library and flexible community facilities, and outdoor activity spaces. The time for Thamesmead to realise its full potential and become London’s New Town has begun.
Best New Development in the North
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.
Central View is an eclectic development of 13 homes, varying in size, bedrooms and house types. Built in Partington, in the popular borough of Trafford, Greater Manchester, house types include classic three bedroom semi-detached houses, traditional two-up-two-down terraced houses and three bedroom, three-storey houses with master bedrooms boasting en suites. All homes come with large family friendly gardens and are designed for open-plan family living with modern conveniences like an essential downstairs WC and open-plan kitchen/dining/living spaces. The contemporary finish to the homes includes full-height windows, sleek grey roofing and carefully crafted brickwork to the facades. All homes in the development are available to buy through shared ownership, providing excellent affordability and offering great flexibility to new homeowners looking to get on to the property market and buy a home who would not be able to do so otherwise.
Elizabethan Terrace is a modern development of 15 affordable homes in Whitefield, Greater Manchester, exclusively available for shared ownership. Built on the site of the former disused Elizabethan pub, which local residents branded an “eyesore”, the development has provided much-needed new build homes and helped to regenerate the area, which was largely made up of former council homes that were originally built in the 1950s. The mixture of two and three bedroom properties, priced from £54,775 for a 35% share, have also given first time buyers in the area the opportunity to buy a home in the highly desirable area of north Manchester, where other parts of Whitefield and neighbouring Prestwich command high property values which would
otherwise be out of reach for many purchasers.
A brand new development located in Rochdale, Belfield Mill, is the first development from Plumlife consisting exclusively of shared ownership homes, demonstrating the strength of the product in the current marketplace. Local knowledge of the scheme is building and Plumlife is experiencing excellent demand for the 28 three and four bedroom detached and semi-detached homes on offer.
Homeowners will benefit from transport links to Manchester city centre, as well as proximity to local rural beauty spots such as nearby Hollingworth Lake. The desirable location, combined with modern design features and quality specification, has resulted in high levels of demand, with reservations being taken off-plan ahead of handovers in the summer.
The generous garden sizes and well thought-out interiors ensure that these homes meet the needs of our customers who, more than ever before, require spacious and flexible living as well as a peaceful retreat to escape to at the end of the day.
Best Off-Plan Development
This award will be looking to recognise a development that has not yet been built/completed but offers great potential to first time buyers.
Barratt Homes at Linmere is an exciting new development in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, that will initially deliver 307 new one to four bedroom homes. The development forms part of the wider mixed-use Linmere consortium scheme, which will see 5,150 new homes delivered alongside an extensive range of community facilities, including retail units, schools and open spaces. Barratt launched off-plan in November 2020, with homes already proving popular among first time buyers thanks to the availability of Help to Buy on larger three and four bedroom homes, with prices currently starting from £375,000. A range of one and two bedroom apartments will launch this summer, appealing to young professionals looking to get a foot on to the ladder. To support buyers in their off-plan purchase, Barratt has invested in a range of technology to allow its customers to experience the full potential of Linmere, including street VRs and detailed virtual tours of individual house types.
Offering local first time buyers an opportunity to step on to the property market in west London, The Apex is a brand new development by Be West in the heart of Hammersmith and Fulham. A limited collection of 12 two bedroom homes available to buy through shared ownership, the Apex has been architecturally designed with flair and inspiration in a 60s modernist style, in keeping with surrounding Clem Atlee Court. With homes due to complete autumn 2021, Be West has partnered with the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to determine those most in need of an affordable route on to the local area’s property ladder. All homes will be sold offplan to local people, living and working in the borough, and the council will select and approve applicants before they are able to purchase. This will ensure that the Apex genuinely meets housing need in the area.
Due for completion in autumn 2021, Merrielands is a first time buyer focused collection of 161 homes featuring studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments available through shared ownership. Situated in the heart of Dagenham, a vibrant and diverse pocket of east London, this superb development is at the centre of an extensive regeneration zone to transform the area and enjoys great transport links into the city. An impressive balance of affordable London living within easy reach of the capital, first time buyers can get on the property ladder with a £2,500 deposit for a 25% share of a studio apartment with a full market value of £200,000. Designed around landscaped communal open spaces, including a podium garden and roof terrace, Merrielands includes over 1,500 sq m of commercial space. Each apartment provides spacious contemporary accommodation that’s as versatile as it is attractive. Designed for today’s lifestyle requirements, every home has a balcony or terrace.
Elements, a new development in Enfield delivered by Countryside Properties, is an outstanding offering for the first time buyer market. The combination of excellent transportation links, proposed amenities, specification and affordability have proven to be a winning combination that ticks all the right boxes. When complete in 2028, the site will have 993 new homes, new community facilities as well as a residents’ gym and medical centre. Each of the apartments on offer is an excellent choice for the first time buyer demographic thanks to the smart and flexible layout, quality of finishes and sophisticated design; perfect for relaxing and entertaining. With a number of apartment types appealing to the first time buyer market and available with London Help To Buy, Elements is an incredible opportunity to make the first move and secure a home that not only provides an ideal living space, but also a thriving lifestyle and community. Prices for a one bedroom apartment at the scheme start from £340,000.
East Wick + Sweetwater (EW+S) is a new, residential-led mixed use community in iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Delivered in joint venture by Places for People and Balfour Beatty Investments, on behalf of London Legacy Development Corporation, EW+S has been designed by a team of leading architects including Sheppard Robson, Studio Egret West, A-Studio and Piercy & Company, alongside landscape architects Fabrik London. EW+S seeks to create a new community that seamlessly connects Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with Hackney Wick & Fish Island, eventually bringing more than 1,800 homes, new green spaces and play areas alongside nurseries and an eclectic range of commercial opportunities for local businesses to thrive. It provides a wide range of homes available through a mix of tenures including social and affordable rent, shared ownership, market sale and private rent. Phase one includes over 300 homes (more than 40% of which are affordable) alongside commercial spaces, new open spaces and a play area. Clarnico Club is the beating heart of the new neighbourhood, acting as a multi-purpose social hub with a cafe, flexible event space as well as a marketing hub.
Harlow Quarter (HQ) is a residential-led mixed-use development with existing planning consent to create 447 residential apartments and over 43,000 sq ft of commercial space in Harlow, situated in the upper Stort Valley at the border between Hertfordshire and London. HQ will consist of studios, one and two bedroom homes across 3-16 storey residential towers, ideal for first time buyers. Residents will enjoy concierge services, cycle storage, and two communal roof gardens. The mixed-use development is located in Harlow town centre, as part of the Harvey Centre, a collection of retail shops, entertainment and other services. It includes 26 studios, 193 one bedroom, 209 two bedroom and 19 three bedroom apartments. HQ gives first time buyers the best of both worlds. With central London only 30 minutes away and the Harlow Enterprise Zone close by, this is a hub for city-minded people. On the other hand there are copious fields and green spaces.
Judges Unsung Star
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.
Supporting the success of leading property consultancy Red Loft, Sales and Marketing Manager Jade Skates works tirelessly marketing and advising on sales strategy for a huge range of developments for a breadth of developers and housing associations across London. Exemplifying Red Loft’s values and high standards, Jade is passionate about the sector, and has helped hundreds of buyers find their dream home. Currently, Jade is spearheading one of Red Loft’s most important new partnerships; launching the first development for Sixty Bricks, the London Borough of Waltham Forest’s wholly-owned housing development company, where she has already secured double the target number of reservations. Feedback from Jade’s clients and colleagues is consistently excellent – praising Jade’s unwavering diligence and determination. Outside of her role, Jade is personally dedicated to the affordable housing industry, and has spoken on several prestigious “Ask the Expert” panels at the London Home Show.
Already renowned as a young star in the affordable housing industry, at just 29 years old Jade Turnstill is forging the way for first time buyers through her work for the UK’s premier online destination for shared ownership properties, Share to Buy. Jade is always looking for new and innovative ways to support hopeful buyers, singlehandedly producing and starring in a series of informative “jargon busting” videos, which have been viewed over 2,500,000 times since their inception. In the height of lockdown, Jade also became the face of Share to Buy’s new regular webinar series, and is now working relentlessly to deliver the first ever Virtual London Home Show. Share to Buy has experienced consecutive years of growth since Jade joined the team, and her input and expertise helped Share to Buy achieve a record year across all its metrics in 2020.
A passionate and driven Sales Executive, Jamie Fraser joined Catalyst in July 2019 and has quickly become a rising star in the team. Jamie goes above and beyond to build a sincere and genuine rapport with buyers, supporting them throughout the buying process, and empowering them with the knowledge and confidence needed to make such an important purchase. His contribution was particularly noteworthy in the first lockdown, when Jamie was contactable by customers 24/7, to reassure them during this unsettling period, and helping them move in safely. Jamie has helped countless first time buyers secure their dream home. He co-presented the virtual preview event for The Switch, Catalyst’s new Wimbledon development, which was attended by over 250 keen buyers, and has helped to secure 35 sales within three months of launch. His friendly nature has contributed immensely in building a collaborative relationship with Galliard, Catalyst’s joint venture partner at The Switch, working alongside one another in the marketing suite.
Julie Shail’s irrepressible enthusiasm for shared ownership is catching – whether it’s a picture of a new development on Instagram, an inspirational post on Facebook or chatting to homebuyers at a show – Julie always has a positive, optimistic message for first time buyers keen to get on the housing ladder. For 28 years, Julie has worked for Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (and its pre-merger predecessor Metropolitan), in a career that has taken her from Marketing Assistant through to her current leading role as Head of Sales. Managing both market sale and shared ownership through MTVH’s SO Resi brand, she is at the forefront of developing and promoting shared ownership initiatives, such as the new SO Resi Agency, as well as being a powerful ambassador for the brand, reaching out to first time buyers through shows, events, webinars and social media.