First Time Buyers Defy National Average Statistics and Get on Property Ladder Early

According to the latest figures released by Halifax, the average age of the first-time buyer in the UK is 31, which stretches to 33 in London – the oldest in the country. Finbar O’Sullivan and his partner Faye Colley have defied those odds by purchasing their first home when both were 26. The couple saved a £40,000 deposit to invest in Elephant and Castle, a Zone one hub that’s rapidly evolving thanks to major regeneration continuing to upscale the area[1].

Aware of the growing number of high-rise developments emerging in Elephant and Castle, the couple knew the location was proving to be a great future investment for first-time buyers just like them. They were determined to move away from the renting world having moved to Greenwich immediately after university and found the option of Shared Ownership ideal for them. Soon after they found their home at Castilla, a stunning Peabody development in the heart of Elephant and Castle. Finbar explains: “We were aware of the Shared Ownership scheme and did some further research around it to find that it was perfect for our financial situation. It was also a great opportunity for us to investment through Peabody in a fast-developing area like Elephant and Castle- more developments are being built in the area which will soon make it an area where property prices rise.”

After a month searching for a property that was going to tick all of the boxes, the couple found themselves drawn to Castilla. Finbar goes on to explain the factors they took into consideration when deciding to purchase their two-bedroom apartment: “It was the location and property combined. Living in an area with a social scene was important to us, as well as being close to our friends who live-in south-east, but it was Castilla that stood out to us amongst the many other high-rise developments.  We had a preconceived image of the tower developments in the area being unaffordable and expensive, so it was a bonus for us when we found the opportunity to purchase a property in Castilla with Peabody through Shared Ownership. Castilla was the one for us.”

The couple purchased a 40 per cent share of a two-bedroom apartment on the fourth -floor at Castilla. Boasting phenomenal views of Westminster and the London Eye, the couple managed to purchase an apartment with one of the best views the development had to offer. The couple couldn’t believe their luck. Finbar comments: “We’re located on the fourth floor which we were told has the best view in the development for the budget we were on. We can see Westminster and the London Eye from our apartment and it really does feel like we’re in the heart of London, and that’s exactly what we were looking for and now we have it!”

Churchyard Row, Elephant and Castle, London property case study with Finbar and Faye on Saturday 16 February 2019. Photo credit: Fiona Hanson/Photocall Productions.For photographic enquiries please email This image is copyright Fiona Hanson 2019©. This image has been supplied by Fiona Hanson/Photocall Productions and must be credited Fiona Hanson/Photocall Productions. The author is asserting her full Moral rights in relation to the publication of this image. All rights reserved. Rights for onward transmission of any image or file is not granted or implied. Changing or deleting Copyright information is illegal as specified in the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988. If you are in any way unsure of your right to publish this image please contact Fiona Hanson on 07710 142 633 or email

Happy and settled in their new home, the couple are already making future plans to increase their share on the property in the next couple of years. Finbar explains that staircasing will inevitably be on the cards: “Increasing our share is definitely something we’re considering – we’re planning on staying in Elephant and Castle long term to be close to friends and also cut down on our commuting times.”

Although all homes at Castilla are now under offer, first-time buyers can discover a collection of two and three-bedroom apartments at nearby The Levers through Help to Buy; a stunning development just 5-minutes’ walk from Elephant & Castle. Prices start at £595,000 full market value. The Gallery, located in Camberwell, also has 16 one and two-bedroom apartments available through Help to Buy, with prices from £422,000, as well as The Elmington, that offer shared ownership apartment from £114,750 for a 30 per cent share. For further information on other Peabody developments please visit or contact 020 7021 4842.