During the visit, the Prime Minister toured the development, which is still under construction, and met with site workers including 24-year-old Trainee Site Manager Dan Wilkins. Dan started as an apprentice at Crest Nicholson four years ago and is currently preparing to be one of the first of a new intake of young people who are joining Crest Nicholson’s new Site Management Academy - a training programme designed to bring up to 12 new Trainee Site Managers into the business each year.
Almost 85 per cent of reservations at the development so far have been made with the support of the Help to Buy scheme, making home ownership a reality for first-time buyers. The Prime Minister met with local first-time buyers Alex Elias and Nivene Elsidawl during his tour of the development, who had purchased their plot off plan in December using the Help-to Buy scheme.
Commenting on the visit, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Thanks to Help to Buy 88,000 hardworking people have been able to get onto the housing ladder. And, together with our new Help to Buy ISA, we are helping aspiring homeowners who would have otherwise been locked out of the market, get the keys to their own home.
“By meeting those who have benefited, I know just how much it means to be able to start planning for the future and enjoying the security that comes with it.
“This is all part of our long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain – and, along with cutting income tax, lowering council tax bills and freezing fuel duty, the government is backing those who work hard and get on find the financial security they deserve.”
Help to Buy is a government-backed scheme designed to help struggling first-time buyers onto the property ladder, making it possible to buy a new-build or existing home priced up to £600,000 with as little as a 5% deposit. Under the new Help to Buy ISA scheme, which launches this autumn, buyers can save up to £200 every month and the Government will add 25% on top (so £50 on £200), up to a maximum of contribution of £3000.
First-time buyer Alex Elias commented: “Put simply, without the Help to Buy scheme, it would have been near impossible for my partner and I to buy our own property. As an estate agent who works in letting, renting always seemed the only option but when a Crest Nicholson Sales Advisor introduced us to Help to Buy, we saw an open door that meant we could actually buy. Isleworth is a great up-and-coming area and we’re really looking forward to living there – especially in our own place.”
Stephen Stone, CEO of Crest Nicholson, added: “The fact that 85% of our buyers to date at 565 London Road have purchased through Help to Buy clearly demonstrates the need and on-going demand for such initiatives. The continued backing of the scheme by the government, not to mention the introduction of the Help to Buy ISA, therefore comes as a great boost. Importantly, this boost is not only beneficial for first-time buyers, but also for the UK property industry. It is vital that we and our fellow house builders continue to support Help to Buy for the buyers themselves, for the jobs this creates in the industry, for the local economies within which we operate and for the wider UK economy.
“At Crest Nicholson, our continued focus is on developing jobs and skills at every level so we can provide the much needed new housing this country so desperately needs. Through the likes of our new Site Management Academy we are working to upskill our employees to help guarantee that the industry can properly match demand.”
Help to Buy is available on plots at the 565 London Road development. Prices on the development start from £314,950 for a one bedroom apartment and £394,950 for a 2 bedroom. Building works commenced with demolition of the old university accommodation in summer last year and completions will take place during September and October 2015.