With a vibrant high street, outstanding schools and convenient commuter links to the capital, it’s clear why Harpenden is one of the most desirable places to live in Hertfordshire.

But for first-time buyers, getting on the property ladder in this popular town is becoming increasingly difficult. According to Rightmove, homes in Harpenden had an overall average price of £868,358 over the last year.

Helping to make property more affordable for new buyers, Catalyst is offering a range of modern one-bedroom apartments at their new development, Roan Place, through shared ownership. We speak to Steve Pickering, head of sales and marketing (Counties) at Catalyst, who explains how the scheme works and how it can help people searching for their first home in Harpenden.

Q: What is shared ownership?

Herts Advertiser: Roan Place is conveniently located just one mile from Harpenden town centreRoan Place is conveniently located just one mile from Harpenden town centre (Image: Catalyst)

A: Shared ownership is a government-backed scheme in which you part-buy and part-rent a home. The shared purchase is usually between 25 to 75 per cent, with shared owners paying rent on the remaining portion. When the buyer can afford to do so, they can purchase greater shares in their home – a process known as staircasing.

Buyers only need to pay a deposit on the share of the property they have purchased. At Roan Place, prices start from just £86,250 for a 25 per cent share of a one-bedroom apartment (full market value: £345,000). This makes a five per cent deposit just £4,313, which is remarkably affordable compared to most properties available for first-time buyers in Harpenden.

Q: What are the benefits of buying a shared ownership property?

A: With shared ownership homes, you only require a mortgage for the portion of the property you are buying. This can help those on lower incomes access properties where they would struggle to secure a mortgage to cover the total market value.

Another advantage is that you can buy more shares as you acquire more savings or your salary increases, making it a more accessible and gradual route to home ownership. Also, should you wish to sell your home a few years down the line, you will benefit from any value your property has accrued over that period, as the portion of the sale you take is equal to the share of the property you own.

Q: What does Roan Place have to offer homebuyers?

Herts Advertiser: The one-bedroom apartments are bright and spacious with a high-quality finishThe one-bedroom apartments are bright and spacious with a high-quality finish (Image: Catalyst)

A: Roan Place has two stunning homes left for sale, located just one-mile from Harpenden town centre. It’s a relatively small development, in-keeping with the tranquil, village environment. The one-bedroom apartments have a contemporary look with bright, open-plan living spaces and high-quality appliances included in the price, which is rare for new build properties.

There’s plenty of outdoor space too – each apartment features a private balcony and there’s two landscaped communal gardens, with Westfield Recreation Ground running alongside the development. Each home also has its own allocated parking space.

Q: Why buy property in Harpenden?

A: Roan Place is perfectly positioned for residents to enjoy all the amenities of Harpenden’s bustling town centre. There are a variety of parks and playgrounds, sports facilities and supermarkets close by. The town is also home to an array of independent shops, restaurants and pubs, as well as local farmers’ markets and countryside walks.

Another benefit of living in Harpenden is the excellent transport links. The train station is just over a mile from Roan Place and has frequent rail services to St Pancras taking under 30 minutes. As well as great public transport, the town is well connected to the M1, A1(M) and M25.

Luton airport is just a 25-minute drive away or one stop on the train, while the journey to Gatwick airport takes one hour and 30 minutes on the train.

To find out more about shared ownership apartments at Roan Place, visit catalyst.homes/development/roan-place or contact the Catalyst team on 01582 228236.