School friends Lissa Cardell,31, who works in sponsorships, and Sophie Kennedy, 32, who works in fashion marketing, grew up together in Dorset and had been renting a flat in Streatham for three years when Lissa heard about Central Cross, Inspired Homes’ micro-apartment development in Croydon’s Restaurant Quarter.

As her boyfriend worked in Croydon, Lissa was familiar with the area and had watched its transformation into one of London’s most buzzing areas. She had been saving for a deposit for several years but every flat she liked was always just out of her price range, until she discovered Central Cross, viewed the development and paid a £500 holding deposit on a one-bedroom micro-apartment the same day.

“I was a little worried about telling Sophie I had reserved an apartment, as even though she knew I’d been looking for some time, in the end it all happened really quickly. But I didn’t need to worry because she went straight to Central Cross and reserved her own micro-apartment two floors below mine!

“We’re both really excited about the recent news that Westfield will be coming to Croydon. It feels like the place to be and I’m even more confident that this was the right place to invest in my first home. The specification is great and whilst it’s cosy, the balcony gives a lovely feeling of light and space. We’re paying considerably less now in mortgage repayments than we were in rent and it feels like we’re laying the foundations for our future, too.”

Lissa and Sophie moved into their apartments in early October. Lissa paid £285,000 for her new home and Sophie paid £292,000 for hers. They both used the Help to Buy London scheme to secure a 40% equity loan, interest free for the first five years, allowing them to pay a deposit of just 5%. Lissa’s mortgage repayments are just £470 per month, along with a monthly service charge of £110.

Central Cross is predominantly a micro-apartment development but features larger penthouses on the top floor. Around 20% more affordable than the average new-build, the micro-apartments utilise hallway-free design to maximise living space, with floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies in most apartments ensuring the homes are light and airy. A quality specification includes integrated Bosch appliances and granite kitchen worktops, engineered hardwood floors, beautiful contemporary bathrooms with Villeroy & Boch sanitaryware, NEST Smart Thermostats and 1GB superfast broadband by Hyperoptic.

Both East Croydon and South Croydon stations are a short walk away, providing services into Clapham Junction (9 mins), London Victoria (16 mins), London Bridge (17 mins), Gatwick (15 mins) and Brighton (45 mins).

Central Cross is now fully sold but Inspired currently has four other developments in Greater and Commuter London. Call 020 8688 6552 to enquire or for more information, visit