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Campaign helps share ‘secret of shared ownership’

BROMFORD Homes Sales and Marketing Director Bev Hall has praised Shared Ownership Week 2013 as a golden chance to raise awareness about what she says is arguably the "best-kept secret" of the property world.

It's also an opportunity, she says, for affordable housing providers like Bromford Homes to address many of the myths about shared ownership.

Her positive reaction to the National Housing Federation-led campaign, which launched on Monday (March 18), is part of her response to a question-and-answer session with the WhatHouse? specialist new homes portal as part of its Shared Ownership Week coverage.

In today's lively online interview, Bev answers a series of questions about shared ownership, explains why a HomeBuy part buy-part rent property from Bromford Homes stands out from the crowd and highlights Bromford's Farthings development in Ketley, Telford, as a potential WhatHouse? award-winner.

Farthings Friend

Asked why first-time buyers should consider a shared ownership home and how important it is in helping buyers to gain a foot on the housing ladder, Bev says: "We believe that shared ownership is one of the property world's best-kept secrets. We need to do more, much more, to ensure that aspiring home-owners like our first-time buyers at The Farthings (pictured above) and even people in the property sector understand what it is, how it works and what it can do for many hard-pressed working people."

She also highlights a change in the demographic of our shared ownership buyers − with many would-be buyers caught in the so-called Generation Rent trap while they save the tens of thousands demanded by lenders when buying on the open market.

"More of those buyers are people who, before the credit crunch, would probably have been able to buy outright. Now, with the housing shortage and consumer credit squeeze, that is no longer possible − unless, of course, they can make a withdrawal from the Bank of Mum and Dad," says Bev.

"This is a definite trend ... In the meantime, yes, we do need to make HomeBuy work better − most of all, we need to raise awareness and to find a more effective way of marketing shared ownership because most first-time buyers don't know about it rather than design a new alternative, as has been suggested by some critics."

Five homes sold in a single day

In her other responses, Bev highlights fresh shared ownership success stories like the newly-launched Larks Rise, Coventry, where first-time buyers snapped up five new homes off plan in a single day, and Castle View, Doxey, near Stafford, where more than a third of the part buy-part rent homes have sold in a few weeks.

Finally, when asked which of Bromford's development stands the best chance of winning a WhatHouse? award, she highlighted The Farthings at Ketley, Telford.

"This is definitely one of our stand-out developments because, from a Bromford point of view, it's pretty much got the lot. It's a great-looking development − well designed and built to the highest standard with many eco-friendly features such as solar panelling and heat recovery systems by our sector-leading in-house construction team, Bromford Developments Ltd. And I'm pleased to say that the shared ownership homes have been snapped up by local first-time buyers, who've given us some really great positive feedback."

As the Q&A went online, Bev praised the time and effort put in by the NHF and other providers so that Shared Ownership Week 2013 catches the attention of lenders, Government − and, of course, first-time buyers.

Bev Hall on HomeBuy

"Shared Ownership Week is a brilliant opportunity to raise awareness, dispel myths such as the one where many people think shared ownership is just for key workers or people on the housing waiting list and to share knowledge," says Bev, pictured above.

"The NHF is absolutely right in calling on continued support from lenders and Government for this much-needed option for aspiring homeowners who can't afford to buy on the open market.

"That's why we at Bromford are using the surplus from our open market sales at places like Telford, Cheltenham and Kidderminster to help subsidise the cost of building more shared ownership homes.

"We're starting 2013 with a bumper programme of shared ownership sites − 19 in all  − that will help to meet the pent-up demand from first-time buyers across the West Midlands and South West."

To read the full interview, go to the WhatHouse? portal and to find out more about Shared Ownership Week go the the NHF website.

21 March 2013