Property&interiors 24 Wednesday, 21 October 2009 London Lite THANKS TO NEW SHARED-OWNERSHIP SCHEMES, FIRST-TIMEMarket moves...KNIGHT FRANK predicts that while house prices at the end of this year will be two per cent higher than at the start, the UK as a whole is likely to see modest price falls next year. Londoners, however, can afford to be more optimistic, according to the agencys head of residential property research, Liam Bailey. While the recent strong price growth is unlikely to be maintained, the positive factors underpinning the capitals prime market should ensure that price falls are avoided next year, he says. DESPITE prices going up and everyone feeling far cheerier about the property market, nearly half of property sales are falling through, according to London agency Douglas & Gordon. And Royal Mail is partly to blame, it seems. Mortgage finance is taking longer and the postal strike is delaying the process, thereby creating a window where both buyers and sellers are getting cold feet, says the agencys Ed Mead. He adds that prices are up on average by 10 per cent since March. YOULL need to move quickly if you want to buy before the stamp duty holiday on properties costing between 125,000 and 175,000 comes to an end. The final date for anyone hoping to escape the dreaded property tax is 31 December, by which time the sale will need to be completed to be safely eligible -- having merely exchanged might not be enough. According to Halifax, one in six buyers in London has benefited from the tax holiday. The maximum saving is 1,750. DIE-HARD fans of the show may be interested to know that X Factor TV exec Matthew Firsht, below right with girlfriend Laura White, a contestant who made it into the final five last year, is putting his Soho house up for sale. The three-bed, three-bathroom house, which is spread over five floors, is on the market through Greater London Properties for 1.65m. And its very, very flash, featuring a glass staircase, a dressing room and not one but two wine cellars. One wine cellar is never enough, after all. BY JESSIE HEWITSON Ididntwanttocompromiseonlocationordesign NEIL WEATHERLEY, 39, lives in Bridges Wharf, built by NHHO. He recently bought a 25 per cent share of a one-bed apartment for 65,000. It was the kind of property I wanted to buy outright. Its overlooking the water and has a good design and location. The river views are fantastic. I see the Thames from my bedroom -- I can even see it as I lie in bed -- and from the lounge. The design of the flat is very contemporary. Theres a dark wood finish and its all very modern. I didnt want to compromise on location or design, but then I didnt want to bankrupt myself on a mortgage, either, so shared ownership was the perfect solution for me. Friends think Im really lucky. I see the most amazing sunsets and rowers traversing the river, and I can view all this from my sofa. and rowers traversing the Abuy-rent planfora dreampad T HE typical buyer of a Candy & Candy flat is probably a billionaire -- youve got to be pretty well-off to be able to afford the typical 20m price tags for one of these designer pads. But in a radical departure from form, the Candy brothers are about to become affordable. Come January, 14 homes they have designed and built will go up for sale -- and they will be priced within the means of the aver- age first-time buyer. The reason the Candys are suddenly concerning themselves with low-cost housing is a planning issue. In order to get the green light to build the ber-expensive One Hyde Park devel- opment in Knightsbridge -- where the brothers are selling the priciest flats in the world -- they had to agree to build some affordable ones, too. And the prices for these flats have just been announced exclusively to London Lite: the 14 one-bed flats will be on offer through shared ownership starting at a manageable 75,000 for a 25 per cent share. The full market value for the flats within Peel House -- the official name of the project -- is 300,000. Controversially, these apartments will not be located on the Knightsbridge site, but in a converted police training centre in Pimlico. It is highly unusual for developers to be allowed to have a separate site for the affordable housing provi- sion, but for the Candys, it seems, the planners have made an exception. The logic behind shared ownership is simple: it allows first-time buyers who are struggling to buy outright to purchase a share of a property, paying rent on the rest. And Peel House isnt the only desirable scheme of this kind with flats for sale. If you do your research youll find plenty of well-designed projects in Londons top addresses to choose from. Perhaps a pad in Primrose Hill takes your fancy? Or you rather like the idea of living close to the river in Pimlico or Battersea? Its now within your means -- and youll need a mortgage of just over 80,000 Wharf, in Battersea, where 81,250 will get you a quarter-share of a one-bed. Then there is St George Wharf, minutes from Vauxhall Tube. Both developments come with wooden f loors, stainless steel kitchen appliances, and often balconies. In the past two years, as private developers have had trouble raising money buying land, weve swooped in and purchased some amazing sites in affluent and trendy areas in London, says NHHOs director of home owner- ship, Mark Vaughan. Were selling, or are about to sell, sites in Islington, Camden, Wandsworth, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hoxton. Another affordable scheme worth noting is Wood House in Pimlico, where A2Dominion is selling quarter- shares in one-bed flats, with access to a communal garden, for 78,875. Even more centrally located are Soho Housing Associations four one- bed flats in a converted Victorian bathhouse on Marshall Street, which is due to launch next autumn. If it all sounds too good to be true, there is one drawback: getting finance. Though far easier to come by than six months ago, its still not always easy to get a mortgage for this type of housing. These days, buyers are typically having to come up with a 20 per cent deposit of the share they are buying -- so youll need to have a deposit of around 16,000 before the central home of your dreams can become a reality. For Peel House updates register at sharedownership@octaviahousing. org.uk. Also see octaviahousing.org. uk; nottinghillhousing.org.uk; thegallerysw6.com; a2dominion.co.uk; sohoha.org.uk Essentialtipsforsharedownership to achieve it. Notting Hill Home Ownership (NHHO) has just launched Park Village East, for example, a scheme found between Primrose Hill and Camden, which has six shared- ownership flats. Prices here start at 86,250 for a quarter-share of a one- bedroom flat, and at 100,000 for two bedrooms. It is also selling Bridges Desirable: buy in Candy & Candys Peel House Modern: Bridges Wharf To be eligible for shared ownership you have to be a first- time buyer earning under 60,000 The usual minimum you can buy is 25 per cent The rent you pay on the rest of the property will vary. Usually its around 2.5 or 2.75 per cent of the value of the rented portion of the property There can be certain caveats on who can buy in a development: you may have to work or live in the area Residents are usually given first dibs in an area -- if you are prepared to go to extreme lengths to buy in a posh area affordably, you could rent first You can buy a greater share of the property as you earn more Register on the Housing Options website, housing options. co.uk, which details all the London schemes available site, but in a converted police training It is highly unusual for developers to be allowed to have a separate site for the affordable housing provi- sion, but for the Candys, it seems, the planners have The logic behind shared ownership is simple: it allows first-time buyers who are struggling to buy outright to purchase a share of a property, And Peel House isnt the only desirable scheme of this kind with flats for sale. If you do your research youll find plenty to achieve it. Notting Hill Home Desirable: buy in Candy & Candys Peel House The usualThe usual minimum you canminimum you can buy is 25 per centbuy is 25 per centbuy is 25 per cent The rent you payThe rent you pay on the rest of theon the rest of the property will vary.property will vary. Usually itsUsually its around 2.5 oraround 2.5 or 2.75 per cent of2.75 per cent of the value of thethe value of thethe value of the rented portion ofrented portion ofrented portion of the propertythe propertythe propertythe property Lucky: Neil bought a one-bed apartment index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html