Not so vibrant London

At Pocket we love London. We love it’s vibrancy. That’s why it’s so disappointing to see report after report warning the capital that, the people that make it such an exciting place to live, want to leave.

 

“Londoners are almost unanimous in their belief that London ranks worse than elsewhere on both the affordability and the availability of housing. For the average London resident, housing affordability and housing availability are the indicators on which London performs worst.”

This is a direct quote from the Vibrant Capital report by Grant Thornton.

 

The urban commentator and Harvard lecturer Ed Glaeser has commented that the continued success of cities relies on a simple equation, that the cultural and commercial richness of the city must benefit inhabitants more than the downside of living in close proximity and sharing so much with others. The Grant Thornton report shows that amongst all groups researched, valued the cultural and leisure benefits of living in London alongside it’s diversity and benefits to pay and career. For too many however, these benefits are outweighed by the challenges of finding affordable and secure housing that meets their needs.

 

As a city, we have to move faster to help these largely young aspiring Londoners resolve their housing issues. At Pocket, we hear the stories from this audience constantly. They have been frustrated by the housing situation that they find themselves in and can’t see any way out of it. The cost of living swallows up their incomes so significantly that the prospect of ever owning a home is a distant dream. Furthermore, these costs deny them access to so much of the culture and fun that the city should provide. The equation that Ed Glaeser talks of, no longer makes sense and for a highly mobile workforce, who have never seen their career as a single “job for life”, leaving the Capital is increasingly the only answer.

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Walthamstow Wetlands Centre: the most photogenic place in London

Our Pocket homes at Gainsford Road E17, the first Pocket Living scheme in Waltham Forest, are on sale just as Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve opens down the road. Walthamstow Wetlands is a short cycle from Gainsford Road E17, it’s full of things to do and it’s free!

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We’re already great fans of Walthamstow (the reason we’ve launched 45 Pocket homes for sale to local first time buyers here), so we’re really happy to hear that this vast green space has opened up for local Londoners to enjoy.

Walthamstow Wetlands is an impressive regeneration of this 211 hectare Thames Water reservoir, the main source of water supply for 3.5 million people. Open to the public for the first time in 150 years, there’s something for everyone – be it lunching, walking, cycling, fishing or bird-watching. There’s even a calendar of regular activities and seasonal events.

 

Wetlands centre Bird board

 

 

The Centre is already a huge success, their Twitter feed filled with incredible shots taken by visitors of the local wildlife, landscape and industrial heritage buildings.

 

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What an amazing place to have near your home, lucky E17-ers!  We’re so glad this gem has opened up just down the road from Gainsford Road E17.

If you’re a first time buyer and live or work in Waltham Forest, you could buy one of our Pocket homes.  Just register for a My Pocket account and complete an affordability assessment to book your viewing.  Sales are already live, with the scheme due to complete in March 2018, so you could move in ready to enjoy Spring at the Wetlands.

Any questions, contact our friendly sales team!

 

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Homes with a view in Lambeth

Sail and Juxon St SE11, all set for Spring!

 

It’s the first day of Spring, and for the first time in what seems like months, London’s city makers are starting to think about spending time outside again.

So it’s great timing that our gorgeous new buildings in North Lambeth, Sail and Juxon St SE11, have outside space to suit all residents.

When you walk through the covered entrance at Juxon St SE11, you enter a wonderful walled courtyard garden with benches underlit by LEDs and pretty young trees.  It will be a great place for residents to meet, mingle and hang out.

 

Juxon entrance   Courtyard
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A First-Time Buyers’ guide to the London elections

Tomorrow London goes to the polls to elect a new Mayor of London. The Mayor is responsible for making London a great place to live, work and visit. For example the Mayor is responsible for things such as policing, transport and the fire service. But significantly for first time buyers, the Mayor has important housing powers. The Mayor must produce a housing strategy to invest in London’s housing and to meet the needs of London’s growing population.

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Buying a home in your local area – the tale of Thomas Golden

 

Become a homeowner in the area where you grew up – Pocket makes it happen!

 

The idea of buying a home where you grew up seems a bit of a pipe-dream – pie in the sky even! And so it may be for many Londoners, but Pocket is trying hard to make it possible for as many city makers as possible to own a home in their local area.

We are very proud to introduce Thomas Golden. You may have already spotted him in the Metro this morning, his is one of the buyers of Pocket’s compact homes in Oak Grove NW2.

 

Thomas and his mum on handover day.

 

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Calling all Pocket residents: win £500 with the #LivingwithPocket competition

There has been a lot of interest in what we do recently, things have been very busy and everyone from the press, politicians and city makers want to know what it is like to live in a Pocket home. So we want to hear from our residents.

 

If you live in a Pocket home you can enter our #LivingwithPocket competition for a chance of winning £500 to spend with one of our favourite shops Triangle.

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Pocket bond on Crowdcube attracts double-investors

So good they invested twice

 

W_MG_6173e launched the first Pocket bond on Crowdcube back in March 2015, offering 7.5% interest over a four year term, and we quickly achieved our funding goal.  Our second bond, the Pocket Land Bond, launched last week and we are already 10% funded, thanks to a good level of repeat investment.  We are very grateful to those who show continued support for Pocket, and we contacted a couple of our ‘double-investors’ to find out what it was that attracted them to the Pocket bond – twice.

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How London Help to Buy might work for Pocket buyers

Announced in the government’s Spending Review yesterday, ‘London Help to Buy‘ is a punchy new addition to the Help to Buy family.  And now that we’ve got our heads around how the Help to Buy equity loan works in principle, we can easily understand the London version. When coupled with the government’s commitment to create 200,000 starter homes, things should be easier for first time buyer in London, which is great news.

In simple terms, from early 2016 first time buyers in London will be able to borrow up to 40% of a new property’s value from the government, interest free for five years.  This means that buyers will need to raise a smaller mortgage, which will open the market up to more people on lower incomes. Pocket hope this will help even more first time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder.

 

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Fair to Middling: Report of the Commission on Intermediate Housing

Fair to Middling, and how Pocket fits in

The latest report to be published on London’s housing crisis, Fair to Middling, is specifically focused on intermediate housing, whether it’s working, and how it can be improved.  The Commission on Intermediate Housing (COIH) was set up following the Centre for London’s 2014 report, Hollow Promise, which highlighted that London needed to prioritise ways of making housing for low- to-middle income earners more affordable.  The COIH has been jointly chaired by councillors from two very different London boroughs, Kensington & Chelsea and Haringey, with input from a range of eminent contributors – including Pocket’s very own CEO, Marc Vlessing.

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