Huge demand for shared ownership homes in Sheffield

Sheffield Housing Company (SHC) has been 'amazed' by demand for the first shared ownership properties it is building in the city.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 15th February 2017, 2:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 9:18 am

Within a few weeks of announcing that a dozen such homes were being made available at its Brearley Forge development in Parson Cross, all had been snapped up. And now the company is now considering more shared ownership development.

Said Project Director, John Clephan: “Generally the number of shared ownership homes being offered in the city has diminished in recent years, following the introduction of the government backed Help to Buy initiative. This effectively provides a 20% loan towards the cost of the property.

“So, with our affordable housing partner in this venture - Great Places – we decided to build 12 homes to offer another option to those looking to buy their own place and see whether there was demand. The results have been amazing.

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“Increasing the choice of housing in an area is an important factor in building and maintaining a strong residential community. The different types of housing tenure available to people certainly contributes to that. As a result, we will consider building more shared ownership properties.”

Matthew Harrison, Chief Executive of Great Places Housing Group, added: “We experienced fantastic levels of demand at Brearley Forge, with all of our shared ownership properties being reserved within 12 weeks of launching. In fact, half were snapped up from plan, demonstrating the need for modern affordable homes in Parson Cross.

“The spacious layout of homes appealed to local families, giving them the chance to step onto the property ladder and purchase a brand new home. Customers reported that houses were contemporary, functional, had a good sized garden, plenty of storage and were priced affordably because of the Shared Ownership option.”

The homes were marketed and sold through Plumlife, the sales specialists at Great Places Housing Group. They were available for £38,500 for a 35 percent share of a two-bedroomed home, with a monthly rent of £164; £42,000 for a 35 percent share of a three-bedroomed property with a monthly rent of £179 and £47,250 for a 35 percent share of a four-bedroomed house, with a monthly rent of £201.

Gill Furniss MP for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, said when she visited the opening of the show home: “For far too many people the dream of owning their own home seems to be forever out of reach. That’s why I congratulate Sheffield Housing Company on its bold plan to extend the project across the city. Every newly built home counts and shared ownership is a great way for first-time buyers to put their own roof over their heads.”

SHC is a joint venture between Sheffield City Council, Keepmoat and Great Places Housing Group, which has a 15-year plan to build 2,300 new homes – mainly for outright sale - in seven of the city’s suburbs. A mixture of two to six bedroomed homes are being built with spacious rooms and contemporary designs.

To date around 325 homes have been completed – 237 sold and 88 for affordable rent and shared ownership. The project has created 120 new jobs and 40 apprenticeships for local people, invested £6.5 million with city region businesses and almost £80,000 in community initiatives and educational support.

A £5.4 million loan from the Homes and Communities Agency is supporting the second phase of development which includes an extension to Cutler’s View, on land between Park Grange Road and Beeches Drive. Here 83 homes and nine apartments will be constructed.

Then, on land adjacent to Fir Vale School playing fields, 59 larger than average, two to six bedroomed homes will be built, while a further 122 family homes at Brearley Forge and 181 homes at Harborough Avenue, Manor and planned.

In a venture with Sigma Capital Group a three storey, 24 apartment development of rented homes is being constructed at the former Park Grange residential home – further broadening the types of tenure being offered by SHC.