Craig Osborne, Director of Housing at Vesta Interior Design, discusses how tailored interiors are becoming more accessible for shared ownership buyers, and Andrea Palmer, Regional Head of Sales at L&Q Homes shares why interior-led showhomes are so important for shared ownership properties
Interest in shared ownership homes in London has increased by 167% since lockdown according to Share to Buy. Having spent most of this year at home, renters are feeling the need for more living and outdoor space and with house prices jumping by 3.6% in the capital in recent months, shared ownership has become one of the most affordable ways of getting on the housing market, despite it previously being regarded as an ‘imperfect’ way of getting on the ladder.
We asked Craig, what goes into designing a showhome for a shared ownership property?
“The majority of shared ownership customers are often first time buyers who are viewing many different developments all at the same time, so it’s important to create a showhome that stands out in a competitive market and is an aspirational place potential buyers can see themselves living in.
“When designing a showhome we work closely with developers to create a space that heavily considers the target audience and local area. That way we can use furniture, accessories and styles that buyers can replicate and access on the high street.
“Shared ownerships also offer different and occasionally more creative design opportunities too; whether looking to add memorable cost-saving features or clever space-saving storage ideas. For example; we will often use paint to showcase inspirational ways to create more space, as well as creative focal points in rooms. This can showcase to buyers how having a lower budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style and creativity.
And, what is the benefit of furniture packs for shared ownership buyers?
“Many first time and shared ownership buyers are putting the majority, if not all, their savings into their deposit so the cost of furnishing their new home is often an afterthought. Having the ability to choose a furniture pack service is an affordable and effective way of ensuring their new home is ready to move into and live in.
“The most popular collections include the essentials such as a sofa, dining set, king size bed, coffee table, TV unit and accessories, but buyers can also opt for a kitchen, outdoor furniture like the hanging egg chair, accessories, or home office pack.”
Our furniture packs start from £3,799 and we offer collections to suit all styles and budgets. You can download a brochure here.
But this increase in interest in shared ownership properties isn’t just happening in London. We recently worked with L&Q on a development in Tiddington, Warwickshire where the need for space and style is now very high on the agenda for buyers.
We asked Andrea at L&Q, how does a showhome help a shared ownership development?
“Shared ownership purchasers are often surprised by the options available to them. Most think they’re limited to a one or two bedroom apartment in a block, but Birnam Mews offers a range one, two and three bedroom houses with off-road parking and good-sized gardens – perfect for those looking for more space since lockdown.
“There’s also a preconception that shared ownership properties don’t offer the same quality as those on the open market, but through the showhomes, we’ve been able to present the houses at their best and we’ve had fantastic feedback from our prospective purchasers.
“We’re also seeing the need for more working from home spaces so being able to work with INVESTA to show potential buyers the possibility of these dedicated workspaces has been great.”