I just received an e-mail from L&Q about the first development on what was once the Heygate estate, detailing their prices for the first batch of "Affordable housing" (from their "lqpricedin" website) for Southwark residents.
For a two bed flat, they're asking for a minimum household income of £62,000 - £64,000, and a maximum of £66,000.
For a one bed flat, they're asking for a minimum household income of £57,500 and a maximum of £66,000, (the full price of the apartment is between £420,00 and £435,000)
As the median household income in Southwark is £16,800 and the mean is £29,800, who exactly are these apartments aimed at, and if they're not sold, do they then go on the private market? That's the only way I see this going..
Also worth noting the Coopers Road scheme, where there was no luck shifting the allocated Southwark flats to locals, so they were offered to non-Southwark residents, and still aren't shifting due to their un-affordability at £1500 per month..
I saw those prices today too. £700k+ for a two bed duplex is ludicrous, and yes, unaffordable.
The market values of houses have gone up massively, but housing associations are not reducing the percentages of rent on the remainder, so the rent component gets bigger and bigger... people either can't or don't want to pay it. And yes as you say schemes like Coopers Road or the ones down in the Blue (Rosebery Street I think) have trouble shifting.
Rabh, I think the £29,800 figure quoted by Janna related to household rather than individual income ,ie, with the possibility of two working householders.
Jazzy Q - regarding the 'obligations' of housing associations, the whole picture was altered by the 1988 Housing Act, which introduced a far greater freedom in setting rent levels and positioned them as businesses as much as (or more than) organisations with the interests of low-income households at heart. Many HAs have progressively taking advantage of this over the intervening years, and are now 'taking the gloves' off in a fairly transparent manner.
This has involved the shucking of social and/or ethical responsibilities on the part of many HAs, and of course is entirely harmonised with high-level plans to turn London housing into a cash-generating property portfolio Pure ans simple.
Regarding which, I think it's highly unlikely that any of the Heygate properties will stand empty for any significant length of time. They will simply be re-marketed at perhaps slightly below the silly rents referred to above (ie, Cooper Road). The Blue is (or was when I knew it) a more 'local' community than Elephant, and thus perhaps less vulnerable to inward migration by the rich.
Regrettably, I think that the Elephant development, sited so close to central London and on a major transport hub, will gather its own momentum, and eventually link up with the Old Kent Road development promoted by Johnson...
I agree with all your comments and I hope a lot more people will question the valuations which housing associations before they buy through shared ownership.I have been recently questioning the valuations of the Peobody Chambers Wharf Reflector development in Southwark which I believe to be excessive. £545,000 for a 2 bed and 445,000 for 1 bed. The origin of these valuation is a Rics Chartered surveyor who builds their own list of so called 'comparable properties' and somehow comes to a figure. Peobody won't pass on the report because it is confidential which leaves buyers with little understanding of the price and no recourse to question it. They argue that mortgage valuations are carried out as a double check to these figures but my understanding is that these valuations are not carried out with the same rigour and are there to protect the lender and not the purchaser.
It all very worrying that people are getting misled and prices are being dictated by surveyors who afterall can make mistakes.
According to the Greater London Authority figures, the median household income for Southwark is £34,500 and the mean household income is £46,000.
According to Southwark's housing data, over 40% of households do not contain anyone currently in paid work. (This would include pensioners and students as well as unemployed.)
Now think about how much that skews the data when such a huge number of households have little to no income. There will be a significant number of employed households who would fall under the "affordable" income criteria (especially if there are two people working), and aren't they the people that these housing schemes are targeting?