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How Square Roots Lewisham is set to mark construction finishing

Affordable housing provider owned by London Square will unveil show home in south-east London

A computer generated images of Square Roots Lewisham, a south-east London development built in white brick
An artist’s impression of Square Roots Lewisham

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Incentives and pizazz are to be expected as Square Roots Lewisham celebrates completion next month.

Residents and prospective buyers are set to come together on June 15, 2024, for an event at the development on the banks of the River Ravensbourne.

There, the affordable housing provider will host buyers and guests to mark the culmination of construction work alongside a chance to view its new three-bedroom show home.  

Square Roots, which is owned by developer London Square, has created a scheme in south-east London comprising 141 apartments all with private outdoor space.

The properties themselves feature dedicated home working stations with power and high speed Wi-fi options.

Further amenities at the development include a rooftop terrace for residents, cycle storage and landscaped gardens.

A show home interior at Square Roots Lewhisham showing a grey kitchen and an open-plan living area
A new show home is set to be launched at the development in May

incentives at Square Roots Lewisham

But these aren’t the only attractions to tempt buyers.

Square Roots has put together incentive packages, with buyers able to select from a number of options worth up to £4,000 or £6,000 if reserving a one-bed or two-bed respectively.

These include window treatments from Thread And Dandy and vouchers for John Lewis and IKEA.

Annual Travel Card for Zones 1-6 or an annual parking space at Lewisham Shopping Centre are also on offer. Naturally, terms apply.

Square Roots Lewisham head of sales, Becky Boden, said: “Square Roots Lewisham offers an amazing opportunity to live close to central London in a beautifully designed, high quality new home that’s affordable.

“Look out for our Unveiling New Heights At Square Roots event on June 15 – launching new apartments and celebrating the completion of the development, plus there will be a new show home to view. 

“This will be an event for both residents and the public with cocktails, food, and sax players playing Ibiza classics.”

A computer generated image showing the skyline of Canary Wharf with Square Roots Lewisham in the foreground
An artist’s impression of the view at Square Roots Lewisham

get moving

For those quick off the mark, the new show home is set to officially launch on May 18, 2024.

Prospective buyers invited to view between noon and 4pm.

Square Roots is also able to connect those seeking to make a purchase with an independent financial adviser who can assist in securing a mortgage.

With the soaring cost of renting in London, affordable housing providers are increasingly holding up shared ownership as a mirror to renting in the capital.

At Square Roots Lewisham, a buyer taking out a 35-year mortgage on 25% of a £415,000 one-bed with a 5% deposit could expect to pay around £1,422 per month for a 544sq ft one-bed.

That figure includes mortgage repayment, rent and service charge.

A similar size property for rental in Lewisham currently costs about £1,575 – £152 more – per month.

That’s a potential saving of £1,824 a year.

Buyers would need a 5% deposit of £5,188 and a minimum household income of £46,119.

An image showing the lounge of a show home at Square Roots Lewisham
The show home will also be available to view at an event in June

local amenities near Square Roots Lewisham

Beyond price, of course, a shared ownership buyer is also free to enjoy the property as though they own the whole thing.

There will be no quibbles over decorating and – crucially – no uncertainty over whether they will be required to suddenly move out.

Living in Lewisham offers a multitude of benefits with extensive regeneration already underway in the area, which boasts many restaurants, cafés, bars and shops.

The Square Roots development is located within seven minutes’ walk of Lewisham station.

This hub offers direct connections to London Bridge in eight minutes as well as rapid access to east London via the DLR.

Those working in Canary Wharf can expect a commute of about 20 minutes.

The development will feature communal roof terrace space

need to know

One, two and three-bedroom shared ownership homes are available at Square Roots Lewisham, as well as two-bed duplexes.

Prices start at £103,750 for a 25% share of a property with a full market value of £415,000. The properties will be available to move into this summer.

The estimated service charge at the development is £3.13 per sq ft.

Find out more about the scheme here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Property: How the cost of shared ownership compares with renting at Square Roots Lewisham in south-east London

Monthly outgoings for 25% of a property costs slightly less than comparable rental apartment

An artist’s impression of how Square Roots Lewisham when building work is complete

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Being a tenant in London can feel like you’re on a treadmill that it’s impossible to get off.

You work hard just to stay in the same place, with money simply disappearing from your account each month. 

For that, you get a roof over your head and a property maintained, but seldom improved.

Rent’s expensive too, making saving cash for a deposit challenging at the best of times.

It’s a precarious situation, with rent rises and landlords selling up a constant reminder that a rapid house move may always be in the pipeline, with comparatively little notice.

Without capital or the means to build it up, the dream of home ownership can easily seem just that, a fantasy. 

There is, however, another way. Affordable housing providers are increasingly holding up shared ownership deals as a mirror to renting.

Buyers can purchase 25% or more of a property with a mortgage while paying a capped rent on the remainder. 

That typically means a much lower deposit than buying outright, plus lower monthly outgoings than comparable properties up for rent.

The scheme features a communal roof garden for residents to use

“It’s the biggest selling point,” said Kate McLure, regional sales manager for south London at London Square.

“As a developer that’s all about creating communities, it was quite apparent to us that there were a large number of people in the capital who want to purchase a property but aren’t able to get on the ladder.

“Your average Londoner who works in the city often isn’t able to buy on the open market.

“That’s why we set up Square Roots as an accredited affordable housing provider, so we could offer shared ownership to those people.

“The products that we’re building are similar in terms of specification – really this is about opening up opportunities for people to get access to these homes.”

Square Roots Lewisham recently launched, a scheme of 141 apartments with one, two and three-bedroom homes available on a shared ownership basis.

Prices start at £106,250 for a 25% share in a one-bed with a full market value of £425,000.

The scheme is located within walking distance of both rail and DLR services at Lewisham station beside the River Ravensbourne. 

“The products we’re building at Square Roots are similar in specification to those we’re selling through London Square,” said Kate.

“Square Roots is really about opening up opportunities for people to be able to purchase these homes.

“The aim is that they can then staircase their share in the property until they own the whole thing.

“What we find is that a lot of people come to us who are renting privately in the surrounding areas and are paying more every month than they would on a mortgage payment and rent combined through shared ownership.”

A show home interior at Square Roots Lewisham

THE MATHS

To illustrate that point, we took a deep dive into the figures to see how the entry level one-bed at Square Roots Lewisham stacks up against a similar flat available for rent in the area.

Using Square Roots’ affordability calculator, buyers of the £425,000 one-bed can expect a monthly cost of £1,531.

That figure includes a mortgage payment of £658 based on a 25 year term with a 5% deposit of £5,313.

Then there’s £730 of rent, payable on the 75% owned by Square Roots at a rate of 2.75% of its value.

The remainder – £143 – is the estimated service charge for the 551sq ft property, at £3.13 per sq ft.

In contrast, a slightly smaller rental flat (538sq ft) at a similar distance from the station costs £1,575 per month to rent. 

Square Roots Lewisham is located close. to Lewisham Station

“The other thing you get with shared ownership, which is really quite different to private rent, is security,” said Kate.

“It’s not like being a tenant. You don’t have to ask your landlord for permission to decorate or be worried about not getting your deposit back if you put picture hooks in the walls.

“It’s your property – you can do what you want with it, even though you’re sharing the ownership with the housing provider.

“You have that stability in knowing you won’t have to move and it works out as more affordable than renting.

“At Square Roots Lewisham, we’ve been very mindful not to build too many amenities into the scheme that would potentially make the service charge too expensive for people buying here.

“It’s right next to Lewisham town centre, so there are plenty of gyms, services, shops, restaurants and bars for buyers to enjoy.

“It’s a responsibility for us to attract as wide a customer base as possible and we don’t want to price people out.

“We want buyers to have the choice about what to spend their money on after they have moved in, rather than making assumptions about what they want.”

IN FOCUS
The entry-level one-bed apartment at Square Roots Lewisham comes with a fully-fitted kitchen, balcony, open-plan living area and built-in storage in the bedroom. Here are a few quick fire facts:
- Total size: 551sq ft
- Leasehold term: 990 years
- Time to Canary Wharf: 18 minutes (from station)
- Total value: £425,000
l 
- Estimated monthly cost: £1,531
 
- Time to cycle to Greenwich Park: 12 minutes
- Train travel to Cannon Street: 20 minutes

With parent company London Square’s name an homage to the communal outdoor spaces in the older parts of the city, Square Roots offers a communal roof garden on the fifth floor of its Lewisham scheme. 

As an ongoing shared ownership partner with buyers, it will also host a customer community committee so residents will have a voice in how things are run on a long-term basis.

“It’s very much a collaborative effort,” said Kate.

“People will have a say and that say matters. I think shared ownership still needs demystifying to some extent.

“The process can seem overwhelming to first-time buyers, so I would always invite them to come and talk to us.

“We can then put them in touch with independent financial advisers who can help them to see what they can afford.”

Find our more about Square Roots Lewisham here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Property: How Square Roots Lewisham offers shared ownership homes by the river

South-east London scheme’s apartments start at £106,250 for a 25% share of a one-bed home

An artist’s impression of Square Roots Lewisham

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The first development to feature in our focus on shared ownership is Square Roots Lewisham.

Delivered in partnership with developer London Square, the south-east London scheme presents prospective buyers with a collection of 141 one, two and three-bedroom apartments as well as duplexes.

Located beside the River Ravensbourne, the development is seven minutes walk from Lewisham Station for rail and DLR services offering links to Canary Wharf and the City.

Properties at Square Roots Lewisham feature fully fitted kitchens and bathrooms, private balconies or terraces for all apartments and space for home working.

The development boasts riverside walks, play areas and a communal roof terrace for residents as well as cycle storage, wireless door entry via handheld devices, a 10-year NHBC warranty and a two-year Square Roots customer service warranty.

Buyers can expect to be able to move into their properties this spring.

Square Roots is set to unveil a new three-bedroom show home at its Lewisham Sales Suite on March 16, 2024, and will welcome visitors from noon-4pm. 

Readers can find out more information about the event  by calling 0333 666 2535 or registering online at squareroots.co.uk.

The developer is also offering prospective buyers a package of incentives for those reserving properties at the full asking price.

Those purchasing a one-bed can get up to £4,000 of tailored benefits, while those opting for a two-bed can get up to £6,000.

The development boasts a communal roof terrace

Incentives include Window treatments from Thread And Dandy, John Lewis or Ikea vouchers, an annual travel card for Zones 1-6 or an annual parking space at Lewisham Shopping Centre.

London Square South managing director, Sean Gavin, said: “This is an outstanding opportunity for buyers keen to purchase a high quality new home close to the heart of London, which offers great value. 

“Square Roots Lewisham is part of an extensive regeneration of the town centre, where significant investment is being made.

“This is excellent news for buyers who are looking for an affordable home in a great location in the capital.”

Canary Wharf workers considering a home at the development can look forward to a commute of less than 30 minutes door-to-door.

Residents will also benefit from an extensive network of local cycle paths offering direct connections to Greenwich, Blackheath and Deptford.

Lewisham itself has seen an influx of capital and activity in recent years with regeneration projects that have delivered new homes and amenities.

The area continues to see strong price growth, with Rightmove recording a 6% rise in average values year-on-year, 11% up on the 2020 peak of £545,248. 

This contrasts favourably with trends in other areas of London, which have seen falls in recent years.

Square Roots was established by London Square two years ago with the aim of delivering 3,500 affordable homes over the next five years.

With 1,000 properties currently under construction, its schemes have already attracted recognition in the Evening Standard New Homes Awards and First Time Buyer Awards.

Square Roots Lewisham is set to launch a three-bedroom show home
  • key details

Prices at Square Roots Lewisham start at £106,250 for a 25% share of a one-bed apartment, based on a total market value of £425,000. 

The home extends to some 551sq ft and is available with a minimum deposit of just over £5,300 (5%).

Find our more about Square Roots Lewisham here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Greenwich: How GCDA is appealing for help in completing its community hub

Organisation looking to raise £10k to help fit out its new cafe, shop, office and training space

GCDA’s community hub will be on the ground floor of this building on Royal Hill

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Change is in the air at Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA).

Having spent more than four decades helping people in the borough through its community hubs, free training programmes, enterprise support and food projects, the organisation is set to open a new base of operations on Royal Hill.

Located on the ground floor of London Square’s Old Police Station development, the new facility will provide office space for GCDA alongside a classroom, gallery, training kitchen, shop and cafe area.

Construction training organisation Flower Skills has already contributed extensive free labour on the build-out of the unit, to get walls in place and plastered.

Now the charity is appealing to the community and local businesses via a crowdfunding campaign for help in raising £10,000 to complete the fit-out.

The hub will have a gallery, shop and cafe

“That’s our ambition and it would be fantastic if we can achieve it,” said Claire Pritchard, GCDA director.

“We launched the campaign to our members and the people who have benefited from our work in August, and achieving that total will take us a long way to getting the project finished.

“We’re doing the work in stages – the office space, which was formerly the developer’s marketing suite, will be finished by the end of September, hopefully the kitchen and training room by the end of November and then the shop and cafe space by the end of January.

“In February we should be fully operational.”

The new facility will see GCDA’s Made In Greenwich shop relocate to the new hub and will also allow the organisation to move out of its current premises at Greenwich Centre Business Park.

“The building in Royal Hill is beautiful and we’re really excited about moving from the industrial estate to a place in the heart of Greenwich,” said Claire.

“It will also give us full disability access, which we didn’t have before at either of those two buildings.”

GCDA director Claire Pritchard

The money from the appeal will go towards decorating and furnishing the various spaces, with fire doors and kitchen units also on the wish list so GCDA can get on with its work – helping support local enterprise, train local people and promote healthy lifestyles.

“We’ll be offering some of our cooking and chef skills training sessions here as well as creative courses such as sewing, hat-making, creative arts, drawing and writing,” said Claire.

“There will also be the business start-up courses, which I run.

“Helping people start their own businesses is so important – there’s a real social benefit to it.

“On the courses, sometimes as many as a third will start their own operations and we can support them in that with things like start-up space on the markets we run to help them de-risk.

“That includes food businesses,  street trading and general market trading, for example.

“People come to us for all sorts of reasons – they might want a change of career, have been made redundant or have caring responsibilities that affect what they can do.

“Beyond that, there will also be volunteering opportunities and this will be a great place to volunteer as they will be really supported – there will be up to 10 GCDA staff based in the building so there will always be people around.”

GCDA is raising money to help with the fit out

That, in fact, is the other key aim of the new facility.

One of GCDA’s main missions is to bring people together at community hubs – something it already does in Woolwich and Kidbrooke Village. 

“A lot of people have said to us they need a centre for the community, a place to hang out and be part of, so this could be a place which local people could enjoy,” said Claire.

“We want to bring everyone together.

“We spent a year working on a project called High Streets For All about West Greenwich – this area – and looking at the markets.

“We found that in come cases local communities feel displaced by change and sometimes they don’t.

“We’ve met people who love living in this historic place and others who say there’s nothing here for them.

“We have always wanted to ensure that our main hub is open to everyone and the move from the industrial unit in Norman Road will mean that we can achieve that goal.

“Moving Made In Greenwich here means we won’t have to subsidise it in commercial premises and can continue to support the artists and makers.

“I’d also love to see local artists using the gallery space we will have.

The community hub is set to include a training kitchen

“We will be able to host more exhibitions in a really beautiful space, perhaps even following our original vision, which was to focus on exhibiting works around things we especially care about such as vulnerable people, property, equality and sustainability as well as challenging the economic system

“Made In Greenwich was always a campaign – to value what is made locally and to support the people who create those products and artworks.

“We’ve had brilliant support with this from Greenwich Council, which commissioned things from us and, more recently, we’ve had talks with The O2 and a local hotel to help drive it forward. 

“We discovered that whenever the hotel has special guests, it would buy products specially from Made In Greenwich because there’s that real value in having goods created by artisan makers locally.”

The crowdfunding campaign is ongoing to help raise cash for the project, but Claire said funds were not the only thing needed to help the new hub come to fruition. 

“We know that times are extremely tough for people, but even a few pounds will help us make a real difference,” she said. 

“In addition, if you have any useful practical skills, then we’d love to hear from you too. We appreciate every contribution.”

Visit GCDA’s website online or via the QR code below for more details of the crowdfunder and how to get involved.

The site also offers full listings for GCDA’s various activities and facilities, such as room hire at its venues and kitchen space.

GCDA staff will also have office space at the facility

Find out more about GCDA here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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