Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Buy, Buy Buzz in Peckham Rye; New Homes

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Buy, Buy Buzz in Peckham Rye; New Homes

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SPITTLES

FIRST-TIME buyers have emerged from the shadows.

Housebuilders and estate agents report brisk demand for starter homes, with more and more people opting to buy not rent.

Falling interest rates and juicy mortgage deals are playing a part but some developers have deliberately targeted first-timers by launching budget apartment schemes and incentives such as paid deposits.

Typical is The Avenue, a Fairview scheme in Crickle-wood. Mark Griffiths, sales director, reports "runaway sales". More than 90 homes were snapped up in January and February - and the show apartment doesn't open until later this month.

It is a big (370 home) development on former industrial land. "At this rate we expect to have the scheme complete in 18 months," adds Griffiths.

He admits the specification is "good rather than fancy" and puts the success down to "price and location".

Studios in the first phase started at [pound]88,000. They now cost [pound]95,000.

One-bedroom apartments are priced from [pound]125,000 and two-bedroom apartments start at [pound]150,000.

Griffiths reckons prices jumped five per cent during the first two months of this year. "Buyers are not panicking, but they don't want to miss out."

NW2 is not the most glamorous of postcodes but there are good transport links.

Willesden Green and Cricklewood stations are a short walk and there is easy access to the North Circular. The sales centre is open seven days a week.

Value for money is available in the 0207 zone as well as the outer boroughs.

If you are searching for an up-and-coming area where the prospects for price increases are above average, the swathe of south London between Camberwell and Lewisham is worth investigating.

There are still large, ungentrified areas of the inner-city which, because of their proximity to the West End and City, seem bound to rise in value.

Peckham has not had the best publicity but remains relatively affordable for buyers struggling to get on the property ladder. It is "villagey" in parts (Nun-head), has green open spaces (Peckham Rye) and a cultural hub is forming around the award-winning library. …

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