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East London Show puts home ownership on the podium!

17 October 2012

Show goers enjoy the event guide.

FIRST STEPS put low cost home ownership on the podium as thousands of buyers join the rush to live in a new part of London

On the same weekend that England took one step closer to the World Cup Finals, almost 5,000 Londoners took their FIRST STEPS to qualifying to buy a home of their own.

Saturday’s Affordable Home Show East (October 13) attracted the capital’s first-time buyers keen to sign up to affordable homes in East London, with a spotlight on London’s newest postcode E20, home to East Village.

Formerly known as the Olympic Village, East Village will, from April 2013, provide 2,818 new apartments for local families, professionals and retired couples. More than 700 of the apartments will be available to those on average incomes through FIRST STEPS Buy and FIRST STEPS Rent options and, as expected, visitors to the show were enthusiastic to take a virtual view of the apartments which housed the likes of Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis.

Held at the Hilton Canary Wharf, a highlight of the show was the virtual tour of the East Village units. Spokesperson Olaide Oyekanmi of First Base - one of the groups in Triathlon who make up the consortium behind East Village - said: “We spoke to thousands of people who were bursting with excitement about East Village and the opportunity to buy or rent a new home as well as being a part of the Olympic buzz that has remained in East London.”

East Village wasn’t the only star attraction, property experts from housing associations including Notting Hill Home Ownership, Circle Living and East Homes showcased brand new properties which helped to dispel the myth that home ownership is out of the reach for everyday working Londoners, while the financial presentations on mortgages and loans proved to be a huge draw. All four presentations throughout the day were filled to capacity with standing room only.

The need for advice echoed  Boris Johnson in his Mayor’s welcome to the show. He acknowledged: “For those on low and modest incomes, London is an increasingly expensive place to live but there are many opportunities across east London and the capital too.” 

The Mayor invites all potential homeowners to visit FIRST STEPS, his online agency which provides low cost home ownership and intermediate rent products, to see that there is literally a good deal on offer. The website attracts over 90,000 visitors each month and so far 25,000 people have been helped into their own home.

Visitor Jason Forrest called the show “brilliant” and added: “It’s giving different types of people the opportunity to show that they can afford to get a home in London.”

Home Ownership Director Bernie Conroy of Metropolitan, who hosted Saturday’s show and who, along with L&Q, co-manage FIRST STEPS on behalf of the GLA said: “FIRST STEPS is here to make affordable purchase or renting a home a clear and easy process. “We’re pleased we attracted so many to the show; it is evidence to the determination of Londoners to own high-quality and well-designed homes in the capital. Fulfilling this demand will help contribute to the economy and in areas like Newham will add to the drive towards community success.”

The energy and enthusiasm of visitors showed the appetite for affordable home ownership and this is likely to increase as more workers, students and families join the capital.

Combined with the Mayor’s recently announced £100M ‘Housing Covenant’ to fund 10,000 low cost home ownership homes and the government’s equity loan scheme FirstBuy’s extension to March 2016, analysts say this is a good time to invest in buying a home.

Potential buyers are urged to keep an eye out on the FIRST STEPS website for exciting new plans during 2013.

 Presentation slides from Saturday’s show are online.

 For more information please contact firststepsfeedback@metropolitan.org.uk

 

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