By George, he’s got it!
Within five hours of its launch on February 28th, George Walker reserved Flat 18 on the first floor of Oriel House on North Hill in Colchester. The well-placed Georgian-fronted property, formerly home of the Essex County Standard, is currently under conversion into 24 one and two bedroom flats. Within days, George found himself showing his prospective new home to BBC Political Correspondent Vicky Young for a feature on the BBC’s News at Ten.
As they viewed the unfinished building with signs of ongoing construction work all around them, George told her he had only been able to afford his own home because he still lives with his parents, and with the aid of a Government Help to Buy scheme.
“Wanting to have my own independence has been a big thing for me,” he said.
Vicky Young showed graphs demonstrating how, nationally, home ownership for 25 to 34 year olds has fallen and she said that while 245,000 news homes are needed annually, fewer than 188,000 have been completed each year, leading to a shortfall of well over half a million new homes.
The interview and tour of Oriel House came on the back of Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Colchester and Grays, when he pledged that a future Conservative government would build 200,000 new starter homes for first-time buyers under 40 who would get 20% off the price. On the same day in Brighton, Ed Milliband made a pledge to build 200,000 new homes each year until 2020.
Jason Sewell, Fenn Wright new homes negotiator, said there had been a massive response to the launch of Oriel House, demonstrating the continuing huge demand for affordable homes. He and Maria Montgomery, Fenn Wright Partner and new homes manager had shown 41 different groups of buyers around the development on the opening day, he said.
“Three returned for second viewings that same day and four reservations, including George’s, were made, the first within an hour of opening,” Jason said. “Two more reservations followed on Monday, and two more were in preliminary stages the following day. To say the launch has been successful is an understatement!”
James Struth from the developers SBLiving commented: “Having met a number of the buyers we are delighted that the development has been so well received and that our efforts to produce a high-quality restoration are appreciated”.
Priced from £117,500, the apartments in Oriel House have 10 year insurance-backed warranties as well as being eligible for Help to Buy. Details are available online or from Fenn Wright on 01206 763388.
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