Bookend buyers: Inside the Highgate development that’s courting both first time buyers and downsizing locals
- Credit: Carl Everingham
This new development is appealing to people on both ends of the property ladder who want the ease of apartment living in a great north London location
We’ve heard about the hipster retirees demanding stylish homes to downsize into, and we know that new builds offer a certain level of affordability to first time buyers, but what about the developments bringing them together?
You read it here first: ‘bookend buyers’ are the latest trend in London’s slightly loopy housing market.
Highgate Court, developed by Bellway Homes, has seen all 18 of the apartments sold so far going to first time buyers or downsizers, with buyers ranging in age from 28 to 72. The range of one, two and three bedroom flats currently on offer clearly appeal to buyers on both ends of the property ladder.
The show home might have had something to do with this. “We imagined two different sets of buyers to ensure we met the brief,” explains Pat Nightingale of Blocc Interiors.
“The first set of buyers were a couple, having sold a large house around the corner from the site, wanting to downsize but still stay in the area and the second set of buyers were a fairly young professional couple who aspired to living and owning an apartment in this location.”
Decked out in neutral tones with splashes of turquoise and tasteful gold accents, the modern style appeals to both demographics.
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“Downsizers in particular, like to see a contemporary hotel-style interior,” explains Nightingale.
“They love the contrast of contemporary and boutique luxury. It gives them an opportunity to cast off the old and start again.”
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The location makes a lot of sense for both groups too. Both young professionals and retirees need good public transport links, and the Northern line servicing Highgate means central London is only half an hour away.
Highgate has all the amenities you might need, from cosy pubs to fringe theatre, and is known for its strong sense of community; important when family and friends might not be as close as you’d like.
Bookend buyers are better suited to apartment living. Whilst there may be an age gap, they share a desire to live more centrally, and aren’t encumbered by the need for multiple extra bedrooms or child safe gardens.
Whilst families might need to move further out to find the space they need, or stay in their existing property and create an extension, bookend buyers are at liberty to take up residence in an apartment block with smaller square footage but a first rate address.
In fact, it’s often the same parents who have moved further out who are now helping their offspring get on to the property ladder themselves.
“We are seeing a lot of buyers that are parents, who previously lived in the area and now reside some distance from London,” says Jody Byrant, sales manger for Bellway Homes in north London.
“They are buying homes for their children because they loved this area in their youth and they see it as an excellent place to re-invest, to secure for their child’s future.”
Prices for a one bedroom home in the Highgate Court development, which is on the site of the former magistrate’s court, start at £550,000, whilst a two bedroom starts at £700,000.
With the average flat in Highgate currently selling for £754,831, according to Zoopla.com, the new build offers good value for money, and in Highgate Court five of the six properties available through Help to Buy have been bought via the scheme.
It’s an impressive number given that figures released by BBC England’s data unit in February revealed only 20 Help to Buy equity loans have been taken out in the whole of Haringey since 2013. At the time of writing there is still one left, so if you’re looking to take advantage of the scheme you’ve still got a chance.
That’s not to say that families can’t buy in to the developments too. Highgate Court still has three of the three bedroom homes available to buy, with prices starting at £1.1 million, and there’s a five bedroom town house launching in June for those who’d like to be sandwiched between the bookends.