"This past year has posed many challenges for first time buyers, including unstable mortgage rates, house prices remaining high, and the wider cost of living crisis meaning it is harder for people to save. However, there have been many key takeaways which suggest the first time buyer market will stay resilient during 2024"
Kevin Sims, Director of Sales and Marketing at SO Resi.
The delivery of affordable homes will be key for the housing market this past year, and, with the political landscape becoming more fractious as we approach a General Election, there will certainly be debates and new policies to help people onto the all-important property ladder.
Shared Ownership housing in Hendon, North London
At the end of September, we launched 42 homes at SO Resi Hendon Waterside. This included a mixture of homes, including two and three-bedroom duplexes, which will offer families and young professionals the unique chance to have a spacious home at a more accessible price point in the capital. Also at this development is a wealth of open space, including the Welsh Harp Reservoir which offers scenic trails, waterside footpaths and green sheltered. With Homes England on course to exceed its target of 130,000 Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes for 2023, we are on track to ensure all types of buyers are catered as we begin the new year.
Rent To Buy: SO Flexi Slough
We also ventured this past year into another affordable housing sector: Rent to Buy (SO Flexi). During the summer, we launched 55 one and two-bedroom homes at SO Flexi Slough. These homes are available at 80% of local market value rent, and can be purchased after a two-year tenancy using shared ownership. As data by Zoopla confirms, renters have seen costs go up by £2,800 over the last three years, making it much harder to escape the rental trap. It’s no surprise that we saw unprecedented demand in the weeks following the scheme’s launch, receiving over 400 enquiries, and the first phase of the site has been fully reserved. This is a testament to the need for affordable housing in Slough, and demonstrates the value of adapting housing product to meet market needs.
The first time buyer market has proven to be resilient in 2023, and we believe that with the support of affordable schemes including shared ownership and Rent to Buy, hope remains on the cards for anyone looking to purchase their first home in 2024.
Whilst you're here, take a look at our other blogs for the latest interior trends and our favourite first-time buyer hotspots. You can also stay tuned by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Written by the SO Resi In-House Team