Currently leading Southern Housing Group’s Sales and Marketing Department, Sandy Macmillan is a new homes sales and marketing specialist with over 13 years of experience in the housing sector. Sandy has previously worked in senior sales, marketing, research and development roles at L&Q and East Thames
Can you tell us a bit more about your team?
Southern Home Ownership is a team of shared ownership specialists offering affordable and high-quality shared ownership homes in London and the South East; we’ve got long-standing experience of helping first time buyers achieve their dream of owning their own home. We’ve also got a private sale arm – Southern Space; this team focuses on delivering high-quality and stylish homes on the open market to customers who are ready to take the next step on the property ladder. Both Southern Home Ownership and Southern Space are part of Southern Housing Group, one of the largest housing associations in the South East and all profits we generate are used to provide much-needed independent funding for Southern Housing Group charitable activities.
If you were a first time buyer in the current property market, would you buy a shared ownership home?
Yes, absolutely. Shared ownership is now a well-established and popular route to homeownership. Since the 1980s it has helped approximately 175,000 first time buyers in England, which I personally find really amazing. A lot of prospective first time buyers are hesitant and wonder how they will ever be able to afford buying a home in the current market; shared ownership is a reliable solution for them. All you need to gather is a deposit for the share of the home you want to buy – anything from 25% to 75% – which is often a more realistic and attainable objective for first time buyers. You live in your home as if you owned it outright and you can buy additional shares as your circumstances change, so it’s really suitable at all stages of your life. Buying a home through shared ownership also means that you’re not compromising on quality, style or location – it’s definitely worth the investment.
You’ve got a mobility service for shared owners, can you tell us how it works?
Through Second Steps, our innovative mobility service, we support London-based shared owners who haven’t been able to staircase to 100% to buy their next home on the open market, on a shared ownership basis. With Second Steps, we make taking the next step in life more affordable by allowing our customers to stay in our shared ownership scheme. It’s proven to be extremely popular with growing families, particularly as we also help them with the sale of their existing home through our dedicated Resales Team.
What makes you proud of working in the housing sector?
I’ve been working in the housing sector for almost 14 years now and my main focus has always been on providing homes to those who need them, as everyone should be able to have a place to call their own where they feel safe and secure. We’re able to do this through our work at Southern Home Ownership and Southern Space, but even more importantly, our activities help to support Southern Housing Group’s activities and investments in new homes, services and local communities for all of our customers.
What lies ahead for your team for the rest of 2017?
As an organisation, we’re committed to providing more affordable, well-designed and quality homes in London and the South East; in 2017/18 we plan to deliver 494 new homes across a range of tenures as part of our objective of delivering 2,500 new homes by 2020. Shared ownership and private sale will play a key role in our development pipeline in the future with more homes being made available for customers. Keep up-to-date by checking our websites: shosales.co.uk and southernpace.co.uk. We’ll also be launching our private rent brand Spruce, for those who aren’t yet ready to buy but still want a place to call their own. All details are available on our newest website sprucehomes.co.uk