Keyworkers make up 17 per cent of the UK workforce with 5.35 million registered employed within the public sector in March of this year, according to latest figures from the Office of National Statistics . They are the lifeblood of the UK economy, helping deliver vital services, including healthcare, education and emergency services, as well as civil servants and those in the armed forces. However, with a pay cap that brings salaries to their lowest level relative to the private sector in over 25 years2, for those keyworkers looking on to get on the property ladder, owning a home of their own would have been a struggle.
For one young nurse though, there was an affordable option to make the dream of owning her own home a reality. Nurse, Charlotte Woodard, 25, discovered that she could still own a property in the location she wanted, close to family and friends by choosing the Shared Ownership scheme at Guinness Homes' Albany Court development, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.
The Shared Ownership scheme offers buyers the chance to own a share of their home and pay rent on the remaining amount. Charlotte, who has been living with her parents for the last year to save a deposit, is now looking forward to moving into her one-bedroom apartment that she owns a 45 per cent share of.
She comments: "While I was at university, I had been renting but decided to move back in with my parents a year ago so I could start saving for a deposit. I had been looking for a property to buy for six months, viewing at least 10 apartments, before finally finding Albany Court. It's really exciting that I can afford to buy so close to home, and a brand new home too. I thought I would have to move away to afford a home of my own, or sacrifice quality, but that's simply not the case. Using Shared Ownership, I can get more for my money and it is an affordable way for me to get on the property ladder."
Before Charlotte had even viewed a home at Albany Court she reserved her property in June this year, and is looking forward to moving in at the beginning of September, not knowing what her apartment will look like.
Albany Court is a new development of homes in the charming Essex coastal town of Leigh-on-Sea. The development consists of one and two bedroom, executive-style homes. All homes feature stylish kitchens and bathrooms, with some offering an en-suite to the master bedroom. Each apartment benefits from an allocated parking space and are neutrally decorated with a high quality specification throughout.
Charlotte believes the Shared Ownership scheme with Guinness Homes is a great way for people like her to get on the property ladder. She explains: "The customer service at Guinness has been really good. They really understand my needs and have answered all my questions. I would definitely recommend this scheme to friends and colleagues everything will be brand new so that I do not have to worry about anything. It has been a very easy process.
"I will be close to the beach and the nightlife Leigh-on-Sea has to offer, while also having my own place to relax in. I look forward to being independent, furnishing my home and being able to cook for friends and family."
Leigh-on-Sea has a great range of shops, bars and restaurants with easy access to London. Shoppers can head to Broadway, Broadway West and Leigh Road for an interesting range of independent boutiques and stores as well as familiar names, with a Waitrose only one mile away.
Residents of Albany Court will have the best of both worlds. They can be at the beach in only 10 minutes by car or commute to the capital within either 45 minutes or a little over one hour from nearby Chalkwell Train Station. Road links easily accessible to Albany Court include the A13, A127 and A12. There are also regular bus services to nearby Southend-on-Sea, Benfleet, Canvey Island, Basildon, Rayleigh and Chelmsford. For flyers, London Southend Airport in only three miles away.
One bedroom apartments at Albany Court start at £83,250 for a 45% share, with two bedroom apartments at from £96,750 for a 45% share. Shared Ownership is available on selected plots. For more information, please visit www.guinnesshomes.co.uk or call 0300 456 0522.