Press release

Press Release: 06 September 2013

Mayor of London's £21.7m Boost for First Time Buyers

Pocket homes to help hundreds of Londoners into home ownership by 2016

• New funding from Mayor of London to build around 400 affordable homes by 2016

• Innovative Pocket model means buyers own 100% of their own home from day one

• People across eight boroughs helped into home ownership by 2016

• Pocket will reinvest profits and Greater London Authority funds over a ten year period to help many more working Londoners by 2023

Pocket, the award-winning private developer of affordable housing, has been awarded £21.7m loan funding for 10 years by the Mayor of London as part of his Housing Covenant commitment to help thousands of working Londoners into home ownership. Targeted at the intermediate market – those who earn too much to qualify for social housing, but are priced out of the open market - this new funding will see around 400 Pocket homes developed across eight London boroughs in the first three years alone. 

This deal is part of the Mayor of London's commitment to tackle the demand for affordable housing across London and build 100,000 new homes during his time at City Hall. 

Pocket intends to reinvest its profits to deliver the maximum number of homes by 2023. The majority of homes will be in Zones 2 and 3 and the first are anticipated to be ready for occupation by October 2014. As well as enabling more Londoners to buy their own homes, the Mayor's funding will deliver a huge boost to the capital's construction industry, creating thousands of new jobs. Pocket estimates that over the next 10 years it will invest around £500m in delivering new homes, generating over 5,000 jobs. Research commissioned by Pocket indicates around 70% of these will be site based, mainly skilled trades, while around 1,500 will be office and professional jobs.

Commenting, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said:

"It is vital we accelerate house building to boost London's economy and ease the pressure on low and middle income first time buyers. These new affordable homes are a much needed boost for hundreds of hard working people and we are on track to build 50,000 homes by 2016, helping 100,000 Londoners into home ownership. This scheme also provides construction jobs and work opportunities, with Pocket reinvesting their profits to produce as many moderate cost homes as possible over the next decade."

Commenting, Marc Vlessing, CEO of Pocket, said:

“This is a landmark moment for Londoners and demonstrates the Mayor of London’s real determination to tackle the chronic lack of affordable housing across London and provide much needed relief to Generation Rent. It takes a typical London buyer at least 8 years to save a 20% deposit on a flat, and even longer for those on modest incomes. 

“We have developed our bid in close partnership with a number of local authorities who have taken a bold and innovative approach to identifying land that they can release for development. As a result, Pocket homes will now be available across many London boroughs and over the next 10 years we expect some 5,000 more London residents will be able to buy their own home outright, at an affordable price, and crucially in locations in close proximity to where they work and spend their time. 

“Hard-working Londoners deserve the option of owning their own home, and we are hugely excited about the opportunity to build so many new Pocket homes across the capital.”