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9 affordable homes for first-time buyers

Photo: Grant Frazer
Through Discount Market Sale, you may be eligible to save 20% on the cost of selected flats at Weston Homes' Abbey Quay development in Barking. Photo: Grant Frazer

Aspiring buyers have been hit particularly hard by the cost of living crisis. First-time buyer portal Share to Buy has found that 79% of potential purchasers are now saving less, and two thirds have been forced to delay buying. In London the situation is particularly acute.

According to home moving hub Reallymoving, it would take single person on an average salary over eight and a half years to save enough money to enough for a typical first home at £425,000, based on a 10% deposit plus buying costs.

Thankfully there are alternative routes on to the property ladder, with various affordable home ownership schemes providing a much-needed helping hand. Starting by scrolling these first homes, all in or within easy reach of London, available through different schemes and under £300,000.

1. Rookery Grove, West Hendon NW9, from £1,120.76 pcm

Photo: L&Q
Photo: L&Q

These one, two and three-bedroom flats are offered with London Living Rent, a Mayor of London and government-backed initiative that allows you to save for a deposit while renting at a discounted rate.


Tenancies range from three to 10 years and the idea is that you put aside the extra money, save at your own pace and buy your home through shared ownership once you’re ready. Each flat has a balcony or terrace, and Hendon train station and supermarkets are in walking distance. Through L&Q.

2. Square Roots Lewisham, from £103,750 for a 25% share of £415,000

Photo: Square Roots
Photo: Square Roots

A mix of one, two and three-bedroom flats with private outside space in the heart of the neighbourhood’s regeneration area. All are shared ownership, aimed at people with a maximum household income of £90,000 who can’t afford a home on the open market.

They buy a share – usually 25-75% of the full value – and pay rent on the remainder. The deposit’s just five or 10% of the share value, and shared owners can buy further increments – called staircasing – until they own their home outright. An incentives package worth up to £6,000 is currently available. From Square Roots.

Read more: 8 gorgeous glass houses that are filled with light

3. The Marziale, West Norwood, London SW16, from £128,750 for a 25% share of £515,000

Photo: Ben Pipe Photography
Photo: Ben Pipe Photography

Two and three-bedroom flats through Home Reach, a form of shared ownership. They’re in a community-minded south London neighbourhood with three stations in walking distance and feature open plan layouts, underfloor heating and Bosch integrated kitchen appliances. Each has a private balcony terrace and access to landscaped communal gardens. For more information contact Home Reach.

4. Callendar Farm, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, from £150,750 for a 50% share of £301,500

Photo: David Wilson Homes
Photo: David Wilson Homes

David Wilson Homes is one of a number of house builders offering its own version of shared ownership. It’s teamed up with Legal & General Affordable Homes to launch Kickstart for buyers with a maximum household income of £80,000 who meet the affordability criteria.

They can choose from a pair of spacious three-bedroom, two-bathroom houses, purchasing a share of up to 75% and paying subsidised rent on the ret. The commute into Euston from nearby Nuneaton station takes about an hour. Contact David Wilson Homes.

5. Ewell, Surrey, from £220,000 for a 40% share of £550,000

Photo: Share to Buy
Photo: Share to Buy

Resale properties that are being sold by an existing shared owner are often great value, though houses are in short supply and go very quickly. This one’s in such good condition that it feels brand new – so you’ll need to act fast if you’re interested. In a quiet residential location around half a mile from a station, it comprises a sitting/dining room, kitchen, a cloakroom, three bedrooms, a family bathroom and a decent-sized garden. Find out more from Share to Buy.

Read more: 9 hardworking homes with dedicated office spaces

6. Abbey Quay, Barking, London IG11, from £262,000

Photo: Grant Silverman
Photo: Grant Silverman

Located in an up-and-coming area and only a 10-minute walk from the station, these one and two-bedroom apartments have private outside space, flooring throughout, fully integrated appliances and superfast broadband. If your combined income’s no more than £90,000, you may quality for Discount Market Sale and save 20% on a selected home. Find out more from Weston Homes.

7. Dock28, Woolwich, London SE28, from £269,000

Photo: Fairview
Photo: Fairview

Some of the studio, one, two and three-bedroom flats at this waterside development are on offer through Fairview’s innovative Save to Buy scheme. Once approved, buyers only need a 1% initial deposit, and move in after exchanging contracts. They then pay a fixed monthly sum for up to two years, which goes towards the required deposit. When this amount is reached you apply for a mortgage and the property’s yours on completion. Through Fairview New Homes.

Read more: 10 best fixer-upper homes to put your own stamp on

8. Swindon, Wiltshire, £280,000

Photo: Purplebricks
Photo: Purplebricks

The government launched First Homes in 2021, offering selected new-builds at discounts of 30-50%. Locals and key workers earning up to £80,000 (£90,000 in London) are eligible and the reduction applies for ever, allowing future buyers to benefit.

The rollout’s been slow and nothing new is currently available in the capital or even within commuting distance. However this second hand three-bedroom, three-storey end-of-terrace house is for sale, with a 30% discount included in the price.

Completed last year, it’s well looked after and has a kitchen/diner, a separate living room, two bathrooms and two parking spaces. The fastest services from Swindon station – a mile and a half away – reach Paddington in 47 minutes. Through Purplebricks.

9. Forest Road, Walthamstow, London E17, from £298,000

Photo: Matt Livey
Photo: Matt Livey

Fantastic value for this fashionable postcode, these one-bedroom flats are opposite the William Morris Gallery and available at a 20% discount on local market prices. Homes are well-designed with plenty of storage and space-saving features, and communal facilities that encourage residents to socialise. Shared spaces include two rooftop terraces with seating, allotment beds and a ping-pong table, and a courtyard garden. Via Pocket Living.

Watch: The housing markets balancing affordability with liveability

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