Nine Elms shared ownership ‘costs me less per month than renting’

Published: Thursday 15th June 17

Around 260 shared ownership homes are set to be built in Nine Elms over the next three years with almost 400 more across the borough.

Matthew Andrews bought a shared ownership flat in Nine Elms

Matthew Andrews, 27, who works for the City of London Police, moved into a shared ownership property last year. He bought a 25% share of a one-bedroom flat at Riverlight Quay in Nine Elms.

Did anything surprise you about the shared ownership process?

I was surprised at how straightforward the process was. Being a first time buyer I assumed that it would be difficult, but there was help at every step of the way.

I thought I’d have to speak to different mortgage lenders but the housing association, Viridian, recommended a mortgage broker who were experts at arranging mortgages for shared ownership. This made the whole process simple and stress free.

What is the best thing about shared ownership?

How affordable it is. I was previously renting in Tooting and I am now actually paying a little bit less than I was – this includes part mortgage and part rent. It’s nice knowing that some of my outgoings are being invested in my future!

I never thought I’d be able to save enough for a deposit in London, but with shared ownership you need a minimum of 5% of the percentage you’re buying, which is much more affordable than on the open market.

I’d been putting money into a savings account for several years. Not always a huge amount, but little and often. This meant that when properties at Riverlight went on sale I was ready to move. It’s easy to become disheartened when you read about London property prices, but shared ownership is an affordable way of buying in London.

What’s your favourite thing about your new flat?

It’s modern and very well designed. I enjoy having a balcony which I didn’t have in my old place. I’m a keen gardener at the moment, I’m growing spinach and tomatoes. Living opposite the new site for New Covent Garden Flower Market is really handy for pots and plants. I also like that I can walk to work. It’s a lovely walk along the river and it’s saving me money on transport.

What advice would you give to anyone interested in shared ownership?

Get your name on the council’s shared ownership register as soon as possible. You get a higher priority the longer you’ve been on the list.

Shared ownership in three easy steps:

1. Put your name on Wandsworth Council’s shared ownership register. Download a form at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/sharedownership

2. Browse for forthcoming developments in the borough

3. When you find a property you like the look of, contact the housing association to find out more and arrange a viewing

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