London’s first-time buyer hotspots: the areas seeing a spike in first home sales since lockdown
More than a third of London boroughs have seen a jump in sales to first-time buyers since lockdown. Here’s where to focus your search.
The proportion of sales to first-time buyers is up in 13 of the 33 London boroughs.
Greenwich, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Waltham Forest and Islington are the areas with the greatest upswing in sales to this young buyer tribe.
Camden, Southwark, Wandsworth, Kingston and Lewisham complete the top 10.
Here, Homes & Property tours the most central urban boroughs that, regardless of economic woes, Brexit and the pandemic, have not lost their appeal for young Londoners.
Greenwich: Zone 2
The number of sales to first-time buyers jumped by nearly a quarter in Greenwich. The area has a large number of new-build developments targeting young home buyers, which could account for the rise.
“The Greenwich lifestyle attracts young professionals who work in the City and Canary Wharf, and currently feel secure in their jobs,” says Katie Clutterbrook of Foxtons.
“Green space is a big tick for people at the moment and those buying in the new-build schemes have blue space on one side and the river walks and Greenwich Park on the other.”
Her best selling scheme has been The River Gardens, with tennis courts, a gym, and gardens, by Bellway.
The Docklands Light Railway is within walking distance. Prices start from £705,000, call 020 8131 0485 for details.
Shared-ownership homes are a more affordable way on to the property ladder.
Housing provider L&Q is selling one-bedroom homes at Greenwich Square for £96,250 for a 25 per cent share and £133,750 for 25 per cent of a two-bedroom apartment.
Maze Hill station is a 12-minute walk away, reaching London Bridge in under 15 minutes. Call 020 8189 7583.
Savills is selling homes at full market value at Courtyard within the same scheme. Prices start from £420,000. Call 020 7531 2516.
Hammersmith & Fulham: Zone 2
Parsons Green is still the most popular part of Fulham for “well-heeled” first-time buyers, says Dexters’ Charlie Ince-Green.
A one-bedroom apartment in a period building will cost around £550,000 to £600,000.
“We find our first-time buyers are very career-orientated, work long hours and are short on time — whether they are working from home or in the office. So being in a relatively central London village, like Parsons Green, with amenities on the doorstep, is important to them,” says Ince-Green.
The market has changed dramatically since last year, he explains. “During Brexit uncertainty, viewers could have seen a property with us and bought tomorrow or in two years. They were nervous. This year they are going for it.”
Sands End, a collection of converted warehouses and factories and Victorian work cottages near Chelsea Harbour, is another popular spot and has a micro community of first-time buyers.
Dexters is selling a two-bedroom, ground-floor garden flat in Sands End for £625,000. Call 020 7386 5386.
Islington: Zone 2
In Islington the typical first-time buyer is looking for a one-or two-bedroom apartment in a converted Victorian house as near to the Upper Street buzz as possible, explains Nick Moore of Knight Frank.
“Brexit uncertainty held first-time buyers back,” he says. “But since the property market reopened in May, we have seen a release of this pent-up demand.
“It’s cheap to borrow and the stamp duty holiday has been a real incentive.” For those spending over £500,000 it equates to a £15,000 discount.
“The Bank of Mum and Dad continues to be a really important part of the Islington market but the nature of the first-time buyer is changing, too. They are waiting longer to buy and are further on in their careers than they were 10 or 20 years ago,” he explains.
This means some can afford to stay central. Typically, the first-time buyer is spending £500,000 on a one-bedroom apartment and new-build flats are being bought by investors and overseas parents with children planning to come to London to study, Moore adds.
The home buying budget goes further at the Highbury end of Upper Street — and further still if you buy towards Stoke Newington and Finsbury Park.
Moore is selling a one-bedroom flat in Peerless Street for £575,000 and one in Eden Grove for £400,000. Call Knight Frank on 020 3657 7342.