Inspired Asset Management, the parent company of Inspired Homes, and Equinox Living have joined forces in a joint venture partnership to develop two significant new first-time buyer schemes in Witham, near Chelmsford, and Luton that between them will deliver 164 new homes.

Contracts have just been exchanged on 8 Collingwood Road in Witham, a disused office building built in the 1970s which will be transformed into a brand new contemporary residential development.

Due to complete in March 2018, the £18 million GDV scheme will deliver 98 one and two-bedroom apartments starting at around £170,000, with parking for every home, located just a few minutes’ walk from Witham train station. Witham has become a popular more affordable alternative to nearby Chelmsford, which is just 40 minutes by train from central London.

Equinox Living has already exchanged on the purchase of Maxet House at 29 Liverpool Road, Luton LU1, with the deal also due to complete in March 2018. A major investment hotspot, Luton last year unveiled a £1.5bn 20-year programme that will provide commercial, leisure and housing opportunities for developers while regenerating the town.

The office block will be converted into 59 micro-apartments under Permitted Development Rights with a planning application being submitted to provide a further seven larger new-build homes on top of the existing building. Notification of Prior Approval to change the use from office to residential was given this week.

The development, which has a GDV in excess of £13m, is in a premier location on a quiet street near Luton’s town centre triangle, just a four-minute walk from Luton train station which offers direct services into London Kings Cross and Blackfriars in 23 minutes. Apartments will be available from £155,000, with Help to Buy available and no Stamp Duty to pay for first-time buyers.

Martin Skinner, CEO of Inspired Asset Management and Inspired Homes, said:

“Price and affordability constraints are driving buyers out of London and into affordable commuter towns. Luton and Witham are two exciting hotspots that tick a lot of boxes; excellent town centre locations, fast rail links to central London and property values that enable us to deliver homes which are affordable to first-time buyers on average salaries. I’m excited to bring our skills and expertise in micro-living together with Equinox Living who are renowned for their quality and style.”

Darius Ziatabari, Director and Co-Founder of Equinox Living, said:

“This joint venture partnership brings together two companies with a similar innovative approach and mission to deliver affordably-priced, high specification homes. Between us we have vast experience in meeting the challenges of today’s market and creating a best in class product.”

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