St George, in partnership with the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham has launched a collection of 1 & 2 bedroom homes at Sovereign Court to assist local buyers onto the property ladder. The homes are available with a discount to market value, where purchasers pay a sum at a percentage of the open market value of the apartment whilst retaining full ownership of the property. Henry Wilmer is just one of the residents who purchased through the scheme.
Like many first-time buyers, the thought of owning a property in London was a dream for Digital Consultant Henry Wilmer. “I appreciate I have been very fortunate in life, but I had always thought I would be priced out of the city, which is why I was never consciously looking for a property to buy but liked to keep my finger on the pulse. I am a Rightmove fanatic and remember receiving an alert about the apartments available at Sovereign Court in Hammersmith that were available at a discount to market value.
“I had never opened a Help To Buy ISA, so I always thought I would be at a disadvantage. I had, however, saved over the years so when the alert popped up and I saw that the homes available were within my budget I thought to myself – Hey, I think I could actually buy this!’
Having not heard of the offering before, Henry researched the discount market scheme, which is a partnership between St George and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. It provides homes at a discount to market value to aspiring homeowners who live or work in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.
“It looked like it could apply to me. At the time I was renting an apartment two minutes away and wanted to buy in the area and so I decided to view the property and it just made sense. I had rented in London for a long time, having previously also lived in Shepherd’s Bush and in East London for some time, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get onto the ladder”, added Henry.
“It was encouraging to know it was a scheme that didn’t rely on me having to pay rent to the council. I am a majority shareholder, which is really reassuring as you see a lot of other schemes where you only own 10%. No doubt this would also be a great step onto the market, but it could be quite underwhelming knowing that you have worked all those years to put down a big deposit and technically you only own a small proportion of your home.”
Henry moved into his one-bedroom apartment at Sovereign Court at the beginning of the pandemic. “It was quite daunting as I didn’t even have furniture at this point, but I was able to work from my own home and not within rented accommodation which made a huge difference. It also meant I could also undertake a few projects when we were in lockdown such as painting the walls and hanging artwork.”
Having lived in his apartment during a pandemic, Henry’s priorities for a home have naturally changed, but he was pleased that his home was able to accommodate them. “I have got great high-speed internet, and the apartment is quiet, light and naturally well insulated. It is also very private, which can be difficult to achieve in an apartment block.”
Like many people over the last two years Henry remained largely in his local area and enjoyed watching Hammersmith develop around him. “It is really exciting to see that so much is happening even within the two years I have been here and there’s lots more to come, including a new IKEA and a cinema. I hope this means that I have made a credible long term investment in London.
“Ravenscourt Park is also a hidden gem – it is a great place to do fitness, read a book or play tennis, while the W6 Garden Centre has a café which serves a lovely oat milk flat white. We also can’t forget the proximity to the river, which is a beautiful spot to visit all year round”, says Henry.
Hammersmith is also one of West London’s best-connected areas boasting two underground stations and four tube lines including District, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Piccadilly, as well as rapid connections to Heathrow Airport.
“You can easily get to Heathrow airport, or Liverpool Street or Paddington, but I actually found during the first six to eight months of living at Sovereign Court that I didn’t get the tube anywhere as everywhere is so walkable!”
Prices start from £271,890, with the equity share starting from 44.48%
For further information or to register your interest, please call 020 8741 2400, visit www.sovereign-court.com or visit the Hammersmith and Fulham website: https://www.handfhomebuy.org/choice/Login.aspx