Riverscape

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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Property: How SO Resi Canning Town offers an escape from soaring rents

Shared ownership properties are close to transport hub providing easy access to multiple attractions

An artist’s impression of SO Resi Canning Town

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With rents in the capital continuing to soar, shared ownership schemes are having a bit of a moment.

Typically purchasing a percentage of a property while paying rent on the remainder, even when a service charge is included, is generally cheaper than renting a comparable property nearby.

The advantages for prospective buyers are many.

Chief among these perhaps are the relative security in comparison to the precarious situation of being a tenant, autonomy over the space and its decoration and crucially the ability to access the sales market with a considerably lower deposit than would be necessary to buy outright.

Canning Town is also having a moment.

The area near the station has been undergoing extensive regeneration for years with plenty of new amenities arriving and much more still to come.

Highly connected, it’s a mere two stops on the Jubilee line from Canary Wharf and enjoys direct connections to London City Airport, Excel, Woolwich, Stratford and the City.

SO Resi is about to bring these two things together.

The shared ownership brand of Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing – the fifth largest housing association in the UK – is set to unveil a collection of 37 apartments in May. 

SO Resi Canning Town’s one, two and three-bedroom homes are located at Manor Road Quarter, the latest development by the English Cities Fund – which was also responsible for the scheme at nearby Rathbone Market. 

The immediate area boasts a multitude of attractions, including craft beer at Husk, modern Italian food at Pepenero, a bouldering facility at Rise Climbing and outdoorsy activities at Bow Ecology Park and environmental community project Cody Dock.

Residents will be within walking distance of City Hall at Royal Docks, the home of the English National Ballet at London City Island and the art and heritage of Trinity Buoy Wharf.

It’s a compelling offering, even before you factor in the bustle of Stratford, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Westfield Stratford City, Canary Wharf, The O2 and Greenwich Peninsula – all within two Tube stops or less. 

Canning Town station is also a major bus interchange, meaning residents can easily access areas such as Bethnal Green, Aldgate, Walthamstow and even Romford.

This is all evidence that, with a great deal more development in the pipeline, prices in E16 are likely to rise as demand for well-connected, regenerated parts of the capital increases.

SO Resi sales and marketing director Kevin Sims

SO Resi sales and marketing director, Kevin Sims, said: “It is no secret that London has become a place where a range of buyers are being priced out – especially first-time buyers. 

“As such, the new SO Resi Canning Town scheme could be the perfect option for 2024. 

“The scheme will allow purchasers to buy a percentage share that they will pay a mortgage on, with the remainder being paid on below-market rent and then service charges too.

“A lot of people are looking to avoid the rental trap who would never be able to afford to buy on the open market – with rents rising the fastest in London. 

The Canning Town apartments will feature open-plan living areas

“One of the biggest benefits of shared ownership at SO Resi Canning Town is that deposits are often considerably lower than buying on the open market. 

“This is because you put a deposit down on the share that you’re buying – 25%, for example –  rather than the value of the whole property.

“As an example, at our recent SO Resi Hendon Waterside development, a 5% deposit on a 25% share of a one-bedroom apartment could be as low as £4,129.

“If London is a place you aim to stay in for the long term too, staircasing is a brilliant way to continue along the journey to full home ownership. 

“It’s possible to buy shares at any time – but we offer the SO Resi Plus scheme, which was pioneered by us, and has now been rolled out nationally. 

The apartments are located close to Canning Town station

“The scheme allows buyers to staircase at a gradual pace by purchasing an additional 1% share each year, which can be done at the touch of a button with no solicitors needed, making the ultimate goal of home ownership that little bit more achievable. 

“Knowing this benefit is available to you throughout your journey should give you peace of mind – a purchase as little as 1% can make a world of difference in the long term.”

Shared ownership buyers purchase between 10% and 75% of a home and pay a capped rent on the remainder.

Typically schemes offer 25% or more, however.

SO Resi Canning Town’s apartments are set to go on sale next month with a show home expected to open in June, 2024.

The apartments are set to go on sale in May, 2024

key details

SO Resi Canning Town is a collection of 37 apartments ranging in size from one-beds to three-beds.

The properties are set to come on the market in May, 2024, with prices yet to be announced.

Find out more about SO Resi Canning Town here

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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 shared ownership homes at Kidbrooke Square are surrounded by amenities and green spaces

NHG Homes scheme offers properties with deposits starting at £4,625 for 25% of a one-bed

An artist’s impression of Kidbrooke Square in Greenwich

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NHG Homes’ Kidbrooke Square development is all set to welcome its first residents in the coming months.

Set beside the wider regeneration of the Ferrier Estate, the area has been transformed in recent years with extensive house building and landscaping.

This project has seen a wealth of amenities arrive in this part of the Royal Borough Of Greenwich, including the blockbuster playgrounds and open spaces of Cator Park – a winner of the Sir David Attenborough award for biodiversity – all of which will benefit Kidbrooke Square buyers.

NHG Homes’ scheme is currently offering one, two and three-bedroom properties on a shared ownership basis, with prices starting at £92,500 for a quarter share of an apartment.

The housing association recently unveiled a one-bedroom show home on-site, showcasing the features of its homes including fully fitted kitchens with A+ energy-rated appliances, bathrooms with porcelain floor tiles and white sanitaryware as well as built-in wardrobes and storage space.

Properties feature open-plan design and boast private outdoor space (including two apartments with winter gardens). Further benefits on-site include communal cycle storage and a concierge service.

Locally, Pegler Square is home to cafes, shops and The Depot pub as well as a gym and regular food markets.

In addition to Cator Park, the open spaces of Kidbrooke Green Park and Sutcliffe Park are also within easy walking distance.

The development is located right beside Kidbrooke Station, offering rapid connections into the centre of the capital – London Bridge takes about 16 minutes, with Waterloo East three minutes beyond that. 

Shared ownership properties at the scheme feature open-plan design

Journeys to Canary Wharf take a little over 20 minutes with a change at Lewisham onto the DLR.

The area is well served by bus services and cycle routes, with trips to Blackheath and Greenwich within easy pedalling distance. 

NHG Homes head of marketing and digital, Amie Triphook-Cole, said: “Now is a brilliant time to buy at Kidbrooke Square, as residents start to move in and the community continues to grow. 

“These fantastic apartments have been designed with a sense of comfort, accessibility and sustainability in mind.”

NHG Homes said the monthly costs of a shared ownership property at Kidbrooke – where rent is paid on the portion of the property not owned by the buyer – were cheaper on average than renting locally. 

With a 5% deposit paid on a 25% share of its entry level one-bed, it estimates that cost to be £1,344 per month, dropping to £1,291, if a buyer pays a 10% deposit.

Fully fitted kitchens come with A+ energy-rated appliances
  • key details

Prices at Kidbrooke Square start at £92,500 for a 25% share of a one-bed apartment, based on a total market value of £370,000. 

The home extends to some 566sq ft and is available with a minimum deposit of £4,625 (5%).

Two-beds are also available starting at £111,875 for a 25% share. Deposits for that property would start at just under £5,600 (5%).

Find out more about Kidbrooke Square here

Bedrooms come with built-in storage

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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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Isle Of Dogs: Poplar Harca and FAHHA Landmark Pinnacle homes for less

Housing associations unveil show homes for shared properties in Europe’s tallest residential tower

The show homes have been dressed to show the apartments' potential
The show homes have been dressed to show the apartments’ potential

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The areas surrounding Canary Wharf and the estate itself aren’t exactly short of residential towers, but only one can lay claim to be the tallest in Europe.

Landmark Pinnacle stands at the head of West India South Dock, rising more than 230m into the sky.

While the majority of the properties in the tower are being sold privately, a collection of 70 apartments has been made available on a shared ownership basis.

Housing associations Poplar Harca and Funding Affordable Homes Housing Association (FAHHA) have taken on 35 each, with the former handling sales and marketing duties on behalf of both organisations.

Located in the lower third of the 75-storey building, the properties have been designed to offer views of either the sun rising in the morning in the east or setting in the west. 

Poplar Harca head of sales and marketing Helen Mason
Poplar Harca head of sales and marketing Helen Mason

Poplar Harca head of sales and marketing Helen Mason said: “Working with FAHHA, we have a total of about 40 one and two-bedroom apartments still available at Landmark Pinnacle for shared ownership.

Buyers can generally purchase between 25% and 75% and then pay a reduced rent on the remaining equity.

“The scheme is mainly targeting first-time buyers – single, professional business people or couples in full-time employment with a total household income of less than £90,000.

“You don’t have to be a first-time buyer, but you do have to be free of a mortgage and you can’t be on any other deeds to a property part-owned here or abroad. 

“All applicants are subject to a financial assessment to ensure the scheme is affordable and that their savings don’t push them over the threshold of being considered able to buy on the open market.”

Remaining properties at Landmark Pinnacle start at £135,000 for a 25% of a one-bedroom home with a market valuation of £540,000. Two-beds start at £188,750 for the same share.

Poplar Harca senior sales executive Ashton Wylie
Poplar Harca senior sales executive Ashton Wylie

Poplar Harca senior sales executive Ashton Wylie said: “When you actually look at the monthly outgoings on these properties it’s very reasonable, which people might not assume.

“It’s well worth looking into because it would cost a buyer between £1,504 and £1,638 per month to live in a one-bed and between £1,971 and £2,232 for a two-bed. That includes the rent and the mortgage on the portion of the property the buyer owns.

“We’ve kept the rents low – to 1.75% in comparison to a typical shared ownership rate of 2.75% to make sure these properties are affordable.”

Landmark Pinnacle is located within easy walking distance of all of Canary Wharf’s amenities and transport links.

“It’s an iconic building and the location is fantastic,” said Helen.

“For anyone working in the area, it has all that on its doorstep and the estate isn’t Monday-to-Friday any more – there’s so much going on at the weekends.

“There are lots of developments in the area, but people who have seen these apartments have been really pleased with the outlook, the specification and what’s on offer. They’ve been received really well.”

Apartments come with open-plan living areas, fully fitted kitchens with integrated appliances, rainfall showers in the bathrooms, climate control systems and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The one-bedroom homes also feature winter gardens that can be used for a variety of functions. 

The service charge covers access to the concierge service and the building’s indoor garden on the 27th floor as standard.

Unusually for shared ownership properties, buyers can also choose to opt to pay more and gain access to all of the building’s facilities, which include a private cinema, private dining rooms, 75th floor roof terraces, a lounge, a library and a residents’ gym.

The apartments feature an open-plan design
The apartments feature an open-plan design

“If you buy here, you’re buying into a lifestyle,” said Ashton. “We’ve had developments before that might have been amazing but didn’t offer shared ownership buyers the option to access the amenities.

“Here that doesn’t happen and because that’s possible it really allows people to live the lifestyle they want to. 

“Many of the people who have moved in have already expressed an interest in opting in when those facilities become available, which is set to be by next April. We expect more or less everyone to end up doing it.

“You can’t opt out again once you’ve opted in, but if someone buys a flat later on, they can always take up the offer then.”

Poplar Harca has show flats dressed and ready to view at the building. Under shared ownership, prospective buyers typically pay a 5% deposit on the share of the property they’re buying.

That means, for the cheapest home available at Landmark Pinnacle, saving up £6,750 to get a foot on the ladder.

Email sales.enquiries@poplarharca.co.uk or call 020 7538 6460 for more information

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