Last night saw the launch of The Fisheries, a brand new development in the heart of London Fields. This stylish collection of 31 one, two and three bedroom apartments are finished to a high specification with a stunning contemporary design from award winning Guy Holloway architects. The development is built on the former site of fish wholesalers R. Green Fisheries.

 

Each flat is unique, with beautifully designed kitchens, exposed brick walls, and floor to ceiling windows. The design aesthetic combines both the modern and traditional, and reflects the semi-industrial, warehouse heritage of the site.

The ground and basement floors of the development will house a cafe and vibrant co-working community of small, entrepreneurial and creative industries.

The Fisheries is ideally located, just a stone’s throw from all the great amenities London Fields has to offer, such as the Lido, The Institute of Light restaurant, bar and cinema, Hackney Picturehouse, and the numerous bars and restaurants in Broadway Market.

It’s well connected to the rest of the city, with London Fields Overground just 50m away, offering regular seven minute journeys to Liverpool Street.

Prices start from £500,000.

Nestled between Canonbury, Dalston, and the Regent’s Canal is the small area of De Beauvoir, with Jacobean style houses, the green space of De Beauvoir Square, and plenty of hidden eateries and bars. Here are the best places in the area to go for a bite or after work drinks:

Proud East, Hertford Road

As well as serving food, traditional English high-tea, mouth-watering brunches and cocktails, Proud East also hosts a wide range of events and activities including live music, cinema club on the terrace, and wine tastings. It’s also ideally located on the Regent’s Canal for a picturesque place to relax.

The Talbot, Mortimer Road

Having first opened its doors 150 years ago, The Talbot remains to the this day a great British pub, with real ales, fresh food, board games, and a large balcony area.

The Talbot is situated in the heart of De Beauvoir, and is just a five minute walk from Dalston Junction.

The Scolt Head, Culford Road

Another traditional English pub that was revitalised when it was bought by local residents in 2006 is The Scolt Head, with excellent food, a friendly atmosphere, and an enclosed garden space. They also host a pub quiz twice a month, swing dancing classes, and live jazz.

The De Beauvoir Deli Co, Southgate Road

The De Beauvoir Deli offers artisanal and local produce to the community from Broadway Market. They produce much of their produce in-house including their famous sausage rolls, scotch eggs and seasonal salad bar – and they even have their own herb garden. The café, located within the Deli itself, is a great place to sample their selection of pies, soups, sandwiches, and salads.

The De Beauvoir Arms, Southgate Road

Opposite the De Beauvoir Deli is the De Beauvoir Arms, if you’d prefer to have a glass of wine with your food. The De Beauvoir Arms has a wide selection of quality wines and a varied menu that they describe as ‘unpretentious, thoughtfully combined flavours sourced from around the Mediterranean’.

Duke’s Brew & Que, Downham Road

The birthplace of the Beavertown Brewery, Duke’s serves authentic American barbecue, a weekend lunch menu, and hearty beers, all in a relaxed and informal setting.

Towpath Café, De Beauvoir Crescent

Another great place on the Regent’s Canal is the Towpath Café, serving Italian coffee and dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. The café is the creation of Lori De Mori, an American Italian food writer and fanatic. It serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner and has a friendly, warm atmosphere.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced yesterday plans to earmark £250m for City Hall to use for the purchase and preparation of land for new and affordable housing.

The funds will be used alongside the £3.15bn affordable housing budget announced in last year’s Autumn Statement.

The money raised from selling this land to housebuilders will be reinvested to buy new land for affordable homes.  This will aid the Mayor and City Hall in delivering their target of approximately 90,000 new affordable homes by 2021.

The move has been cautiously welcomed by commentators, who say that any additional government funds invested into housebuilding is helpful, however they are skeptical that the Mayor and City Hall will be able to deliver the 90,000 projected homes. This is on the basis that private housebuilders will only choose to build homes if the returns are attractive enough.

In addition, the Mayor will shortly announce plans to bring together London’s private tenants and landlords to develop a new “London model” of renting, the end aim being better rights and more security for tenants.

The Mayor is also lobbying central government to provide a comprehensive and urgent devolution of powers to City Hall so that his ambitious targets can be met.

In an appeal to Whitehall the Mayor said ‘I will use my power and resources to their fullest, but government needs to play its part too by giving London the powers and resources we need to see an even greater step-change in the number of homes being built

Yesterday’s announcement marks the start of a three-month consultation. Subscribe to the Currell blog (see right) for further updates.

With September fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about the new school year – and maybe about finding somewhere new to live. Whether you’ve got little ones or teenagers, we’ve got a property within walking distance of a good school for them. Here’s our pick of the best:

Hemingford Road, N1

This beautiful five bedroom, Grade II listed Victorian house makes a perfect family home, and is just a five minute walk from Thornhill Primary School. Thornhill is a popular co-educational primary school rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted, and has a local community and charity focus.

Arrange a viewing or find out more here

College Cross, N1

A stylish two bedroom apartment just off Upper Street in the heart of Islington, a mere four minute walk from the highly sought after William Tyndale Primary School, rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. The school has excellent facilities and numerous extra- curricular activities.

Arrange a viewing or find out more here

Devonia Road, N1

This four bedroom period house on Devonia Road is in a prime Islington location, and also very close to Hanover School, a co-educational primary school for children aged 3-11. Rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted, it is recognised for high-quality teaching, and for a broad and balanced curriculum, including the provision of STEM, the arts, music and PE.

Arrange a viewing or find out more here.

Pedley Street, E1

Available to buy through shared ownership is this 2 bed flat in Bethnal Green, near Swanlea School, rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. This apartment is a perfect choice for city living; close to exciting Shoreditch and also open green spaces, with the bonus of being near a good school.

Arrange a viewing or find out more here.

Greenwood Road, E8

This stunning four bedroom home is perfectly situated on the end of a Victorian terrace in London Fields, and within walking distance of popular Gayhurst Primary School. Gayhurst is a co-educational school, for ages 3-11, and has a reported 97% happiness rating amongst parents according to an Ofsted survey.

Arrange a viewing or find out more here

Winkley Street, E2

A four bedroom, mid terrace period property in Bethnal Green, in walking distance of both Cambridge Heath Overground station and Oaklands School. Oaklands is a mixed community secondary school and sixth form, with a ‘good’ Ofsted rating and is in some areas rated ‘outstanding’.

Arrange a viewing or find out more here

Skipworth Road, E9

Positioned on a popular street just by Victoria Park is this bright and spacious three double bedroom, first floor apartment on the popular Crown Estate. The property also sits just a four minute walk from Lauriston Primary School, a co-educational community primary school scoring either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ across all the Ofsted review categories. The property is also close to the new Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy, a co-educational secondary school rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted.

Arrange a viewing or find out more here

Sharon Gardens, E9

Also close to Lauriston Primary and Mossbourne is this semi-detached, five bedroom house on a quiet, tree-lined street next to Victoria Park. This property is just a six minute walk from Lauriston Primary School, and enjoys a stunning loft conversion and rear garden space.

Arrange a viewing or find out more here

Colvestone Crescent, E8

This two bedroom apartment in a period building is ideally situated just round the corner from both Ridley Road Market and Colvestone Primary School. The school is just a one minute walk round the corner from the property, and is a co-educational community school for pupils aged 3-11. It is rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.

Arrange a viewing or find out more here.

 

Source: Financial Reporter

Virgin Money has launched a brand new range of shared ownership mortgages to help people looking to get onto the property ladder.

Two-year fixed rate shared ownership products are available from 1.84% up to 85% Loan to Value with a £995 product fee. Fee-free rates are also available from 2.44% up to 85% LTV and 3.69% up to 90% LTV.

Five-year fixed rates start up to 85% LTV, and are available at 2.34% with a £995 product fee or 2.89% fee-free, rising to 4.29% at 90% LTV.

All shared ownership products also offer £300 cashback to purchasers – and a little extra cash is always helpful when nearing completion. This product will initially be only available through specialist partners for properties in London, the South East and the South West. The scheme will hopefully be rolled out nationwide later in the year, but this is dependent on uptake.

To further celebrate the product, Virgin Money will also donate £100 to Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, for every shared ownership mortgage completion.

Peter Rogerson, Virgin Money’s Director of Mortgages, said:

“Virgin Money is committed to getting Britain building and helping more people achieve their dream of home ownership. Our new shared ownership range will support customers with a more affordable route into home ownership, giving people access to property who might otherwise be excluded.”

Alok Sharma, Housing and Planning Minister, added:

“This Government is determined to make housing more affordable, increase housing supply and help more people get onto the housing ladder. Shared ownership plays a crucial role in this, helping to deliver the homes people want and supporting first time buyers. That is why it’s great to see Virgin Money launching a new range of mortgage products to support those wishing to buy through shared ownership.”

For further information on shared ownership properties available through Currell please visit our website or call 020 7704 5618 to speak to a member of the team.

A good old fashioned garden party is the perfect way to celebrate the last of the British summer, and when better to have one than the bank holiday weekend? We’ve prepared a list of tips and things to remember to make sure your party goes off without a hitch:

When to have it

For this bank holiday weekend, Sunday looks like the best bet for doing anything outdoors. The weather should be better, and you can also enjoy a post party lie-in on Monday….

Prepare for British rain, though

But this is still Britain, and you can never trust the weather forecast. Make sure you’ve got plenty of shelter in your garden just in case – hire a gazebo or a tipi to keep you dry and help create a cosy feeling. Maybe even consider an outdoor heater and blankets for when night falls and the temperature drops.

Decorate to the nines

The best garden parties are the ones where the host has gone all out to ensure a festive atmosphere. Hang bunting, invest in some colourful cushions for your outdoor furniture, and make sure you have some nice lighting for when the sun sets. Fairy lights and jam jar candles are a nice idea and won’t break the bank.

Overcompensate with refreshments

When it comes to catering, forget the ‘less is more’ rule – more is always more. Once you’ve got an idea of how many people to expect, buy more than enough for everyone. You never know who may turn up despite originally declining, and there are always some unexpected plus ones. Yes, there will probably be a lot of leftovers – but drinks can be stored for next time, and food can be eaten for lunch.

Get yourself ready before you start the party prep

To minimise stress, get all dressed up before you prepare anything else on the day. There’s nothing worse than stressing because your food has gone wrong, and worrying about setting aside time to get yourself ready. Also, you never know who may turn up early – and you don’t want to answer the door straight from the shower.

Don’t forget to cater well for people who don’t drink

It’s easy to get carried away with planning nice cocktails and stocking up on Pimm’s, but make sure you have plenty of non-alcoholic options for friends that don’t drink, or are driving. And this doesn’t just mean Coke or lemonade – something fresh and summery (like elderflower cordial and sparkling water or virgin mojitos) is perfect for an August garden party.

Make sure you’ve got enough seating

It seems obvious, but you don’t want to have people standing around, especially if you’re serving food. Make sure there’s enough seating for everyone, even if this means cushions on the floor.

Designate a kids’ corner

It’s a good idea to designate a kids’ area if your guests are bringing little ones. This will take them off their parents’ hands for a bit and help them relax, whilst also making sure they have fun, too. Consider some giant outdoor games like giant Connect Four or Jenga, which are actually great fun for everyone.

Test your speakers, and prepare a playlist beforehand

Make sure your speakers are working, and prepare a playlist in advance to make sure you create  the right mood. And remember to warn your neighboursif you’re going to be playing loud party tunes late into the night (you could always invite them).

For more garden inspiration, take a look at our designated Pinterest board.

Getting on the property ladder is tough. For buyers in London you are paying rent and saving for a deposit, and it can feel like an uphill struggle at times.

There are however certain schemes available to first time buyers, which we’ve outlined below:

Help to Buy ISA

This product is available from a range of banks, building societies and credit unions.  You save money into a Help to Buy ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25%.  So, for every £200 you save, you receive £50 in a government bonus.  The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3000.  The accounts are available to each first-time buyer and not each household.  This means a couple could get £6000 towards their first home.  Your solicitor will apply for the government bonus on your behalf and use the funds at the completion of the property transaction.  You cannot use the funds for the deposit at exchange of contracts. Further details here.

Shared Ownership

If you cannot afford the mortgage on 100% of a home, you can buy a percentage of one (normally 25-75%) and rent the part you don’t own.  As and when your income allows you can purchase more shares in the property (there are costs involved with this and you purchase at the current market value).  To be eligible your household needs to earn £80000 or less outside of London and £90000 or less in London. Further details here.

Help to Buy Equity Loan

Under this scheme the buyer needs a 5% deposit, the government offers a 20% interest free loan (first five years only) and the remaining 75% is funded by a standard mortgage.  Be aware though that from year 6 interest becomes payable on the 20% and starts at 1.75%.  Every year after it increases by RPI (Retail Price Index) plus 1%. This scheme is available for all new-build properties in England worth up to £600,000.  Further details here.

Help to Buy London

In an extension to the above scheme, the London Help to Buy was launched on 1st February 2016.  Specifically to help buyers in London, the amount will grant an equity loan of up to 40% of the purchase price. Buyers can proceed with a deposit as little as 5%. Subject to qualifying you would need a mortgage on the remaining 55%.  You won’t be charged any fees on the 40% for the first 5 years of owning your property.  You cannot sublet this home and you are not allowed to own any other property at the time you buy your new home with Help to Buy London.  From year 6 interest becomes payable on the equity loan and follows the formula in the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme above. Further details here.

Starter Homes

If you are a first-time buyer (under 40 years old) the Starter Homes scheme could help you buy a new-build home with a 20% discount.  The maximum cost of a home offered via the Starter Homes scheme will be £250,000 outside London and £450,000 inside London.  The scheme isn’t up and running yet but planning is well underway.  Aspiring homeowners can register their interest online now here.

Moving house or redecorating can be a stressful experience, especially when you don’t know what it will look like until it’s all done. These apps, however, can help make everything a lot easier – from colour testing paint to measuring the best sunlight spots, there’s an app for that. Here’s our pick of the best:

1. Houzz

Winner of the “Best App” award at the inaugural Google Play Awards, Houzz is a game changer in home design. Like a combination of lots of other apps doing similar things on the market, Houzz lets you get inspiration for your room design, browse products, and then try them out in your home simply by taking a photo of the room. It also has an advice section where you can get opinions and help from the Houzz community on your ideas.

2. Sun Seeker

The Sun Seeker app is great for photographers and architects alike – but also for those who like to have a lot of sunlight in their home. The ‘map view’ on the app will track the sun’s rays across a certain geographical point, like your home, so you can see which parts of the house will get the best light.

 

3. Dulux Visualiser App

This app’s colour picker technology matches colours from photos you take with their paints. You can then try out these colours on the walls of your home. They also offer suggested colour schemes to accompany your new paint choice, and deliver the paints or colour testers to your door.

4. Homestyler

Homestyler rebuilds your home as a 3D playground for you to experiment with – just with one snap of the room. You can test out real furniture as 3D models in the room, test out light fixtures, and see how furnishings and colour schemes will look in your space. You can also browse the Design Stream for inspiration, share your designs with your family and friends through Facebook and email, and comment and “heart” other peoples’ designs. For more inspiration you can also browse through portfolios of professional designers in your local area.

5. Art Beamer

ArtBeamer is also an augmented reality app that lets you preview how artwork will look on your wall. Artists using the app will give a specific code to their pieces, which you can find either from the website, or asking at the gallery/exhibition. Simply type the code into the app and you will be able to “beam” the artwork onto your wall.

6. LikeThat Décor

This app allows you to shop for furniture on the go, by taking inspiration from things you see around you. Snap a photo of a piece of furniture you like, and the app will show you thousands of similar and complementary products, with details on where to shop for them.

7. Photo Measures

Photo Measures is a great way to keep track of your home’s measurements, allowing you to note dimensions down on photos of your rooms, to remember the exact layout and size of all the different spaces in the house.

Despite the inevitable days of grey skies and rain, relaxing in the park is always on the cards during the great British summer. East London has a variety of green spaces to enjoy, whether it’s for getting out of the office on your lunch break, exercising, or meeting friends for a picnic. Here’s our pick of the best places to relax in the sun:

London Fields

 

With a Green Flag award (making it one of the best green spaces in the country) and a licence for barbecues, London Fields is usually buzzing on a warm day with people out drinking, eating, and relaxing. On the weekends, there is a Saturday market selling a variety of products from hot food to vintage clothing.

Islington Green

 

 

A small slice of greenery between Upper Street and Essex Road, Islington Green is the perfect place for a quick lunch break, with lots of food options nearby. There is ample seating space, and despite being near a high street, it has quite a tranquil feeling.

Clapton Pond

 

Like London Fields, Clapton Pond holds a Green Flag award, and is nestled in the fork of Lower Clapton Road. Following a restoration project in 2004, the park is now a vibrant and well used community space. The adjacent high street has a variety of food options, making it a great stop for a lunch break.

Victoria Park

 

Also known as ‘Vicky Park’, Victoria Park stretches across East London and the Hertford Union Canal, bordering Bethnal Green, South Hackney, Cambridge Heath, and Old Ford. With two cafes, two playgrounds, sporting facilities, a skatepark, a bathing pond, and over 80 hectares of space, everyone is catered for and there are plenty of ways to relax on a sunny day.

Newington Green

 

Straddling the border between Islington and Hackney is Newington Green, which has a pleasant village green feel. Community groups hold fairs there, and there is plenty of lawn space to sit and relax, as well as a café and a children’s play area.

Highbury Fields

 

Highbury Fields is the largest open space in the borough of Islington, at 29 acres. Between the tree lined avenues, it holds recreational facilities, including tennis courts and Highbury Pool, as well as plenty of lawn space to relax.

To see our top properties that are close to a green space in London, click here.

This weekend, we were delighted to host The Hackney Society’s ‘50 Photographs of Hackney’ exhibition at one of our new homes developments in London Fields, Quadra.

The exhibition was a huge success, and because of this the exhibition will run for a further week to meet demand. It will be available to view from Tuesday-Friday this week at 91 Lansdowne Drive, E8 3HD.

The collection features images of day-to-day life around the borough – with the people and places that make Hackney so great. Limited edition prints will be on sale, with all proceeds going towards the funding of the Hackney Society’s work.

The Hackney Society is a membership organisation of Hackney residents and friends that was formed in 1967 to involve and support local people in the conservation and regeneration of Hackney’s built environment and public spaces.

For more information on Quadra and Currell see our website. More information about The Hackney Society can be found here.