The government-backed FirstBuy purchase assistance scheme has proved to be a popular option for homebuyers at Berkeley Homes' regeneration scheme at Royal Arsenal Riverside, which is providing some 5,000 new homes in South East London. The scheme is available on selected plots and 11 homes have already been snapped up with FirstBuy funding, with more still available.
Paul Vallone, Managing Director of Berkeley Homes (Urban Renaissance), says: "FirstBuy has proved to be extremely popular at Royal Arsenal Riverside, with first-time buyers taking advantage to buy an affordable new home in a stunning riverside setting with exceptional transport links. This is an exciting time for Greenwich, which has recently been awarded Royal Borough status and is a host Olympic borough, and through schemes like FirstBuy more and more people are able to get their foot on the property ladder in an area which is really going places."
Royal Arsenal Riverside sees the regeneration of a former government-owned site that manufactured armaments during the Second World War and suffered greatly from bomb damage. Some 2,000 new homes have already been provided at the scheme, housing around 4,000 people. In addition, a new Crossrail station is under construction adjoining the development and residents benefit from a supermarket, pharmacy, health and wellbeing centre, gym, gastropub and cafe on the site itself.
With its fantastic transport links to all parts of London and the new amenities being provided, many young people aspiring to homeownership are considering a property there, made all the more affordable with FirstBuy, which only requires them to provide a 5% deposit. Up to 20% of the purchase price is contributed jointly by Berkeley Homes and the Homes and Communities Agency in the form of an equity loan, meaning the buyer only has to find a 75% mortgage - usually at a much more competitive rate than a 95% mortgage, for example.
Eligible to those earning up to 60,000, FirstBuy is aimed at those who are buying a first home or getting back onto the property ladder and intend to use the home as their main residence. The buyer retains 100% ownership from the start, and the loan is interest free for five years and repayable when the property is sold.
At the current phase, known as The Warehouse No.1 Street, prices start at 252,500 for a one-bedroom apartment and there are a number of one-, two- and three-bedroom properties complete and ready to move into. The marketing suite open from 10.00am to 6.00pm daily (until 8.00pm on Thursdays), enabling buyers to visit the site and get a feel for the new homes themselves.