This post was first published by CroydonBID.
Hundreds of home hunters attend the first-ever Croydon Property Show
Buyers, renters and investors flooded into the Croydon Park Hotel throughout the day to hear from exhibitors from a number of leading brands from all across the property industry.
Bellway Homes, Optivo, Leon House, Red Loft, Pocket Living and Inspired Asset Management showed off their range of homes and developments. Estate agents Bairstow Eves were on hand to run through their full list of services. HSBC, Nova Financial, Mortgage Bureau and Des Mortgages offered in-depth and friendly advice on the best financial deals, while MW Solicitors talked guests through the finer details of buying and selling a home.
Councillor Alison Butler opened proceedings, welcoming the early crowd with an uplifting address, outlining the forward-trajectory of Croydon and all it now has to offer.
“It’s a borough that I am proud to live and work in,” she said. “You only have to look around to see that Croydon’s economy is changing at a fast pace. It is clear that Croydon is now established as the leading destination both in London and the south of England.
“Whatever your reason for being here today – you will find the answer is Croydon.”
As well as the stands in the main exhibition hall an engaging seminar programme ran throughout the day.
Lucian Smithers, Sales and Marketing Director at Pocket Living, gave an overview of their schemes, and how their 100 per-cent affordable development at Addiscombe Grove will help first-time buyers in Croydon get a step on the property ladder.
Unsurprisingly, the seminar room was packed to capacity as Westfield Development Director Steve Yewman joined a presentation from Richard Plant, Partner at SHW and Chairman of Develop Croydon, to reaffirm the retail giants’ commitment to the town.
Yewman told the audience that the Croydon Partnership’s £1.4 billion scheme was all on track to begin construction next year with the shopping centre set to open its doors in 2023, a project that he said will establish the town as “the capital of South London”.
Alex Hyde and Seb Litty from the Mortgage Bureau offered some excellent advice on gaining the finances required to buy a property, including some great tips on the help-to-buy market.
The final seminar of the day was delivered by Stefan Vadamootoo, Operations Director at Nova Financial, whose in-depth look at buy-to-let mortgages was well received by another packed crowd.
The event drew to a close shortly after 4pm with all those that attended agreeing it had been a well-run and informative day.
Mario Cabarldi, an investor from Dulwich, said: “It was a really good event. Help-to-buy is an area I’ve not really explored before but it definitely is now. The seminar programme was very useful. Croydon is definitely an area I am interested in. It has so much going for it.”
James Lootuis, who attended the event with his wife and young daughter, said: “We are looking to move home in the next few months. We need a bigger place now that there’s three of us!
“We spoke to lots of different exhibitors and what was really useful was the range of services covered, we picked up some great advice. The seminars were really good, and it was great to hear about all the exciting plans for Croydon.”
Jamie Kanawaty, 35, a freelance property maintenance contractor who works all across London, was at the event with his partner Kelly Waugh, 32, a primary school teacher in East Dulwich. They currently rent a flat together in East Dulwich.
Jamie said: “It’s really good – we have learned so much about what’s available and what’s happening in Croydon. Everyone is very positive. Croydon is more affordable than East Dulwich and it’s an opportunity to get into the area on the ground level, with all the regeneration works that are happening, and with Westfield coming. Croydon ticks a lot of boxes: it’s got good transport links, which is really important for me in my job, because I can be working anywhere.”
Kelly said: “This will be the first place we buy together. It will be nice not to have to rent as it’s very expensive. East Dulwich is lovely and it would be nice to buy there but it is completely unaffordable for us. It’s more feasible here in Croydon.”
Andrew Stott, 32, a freelance scaffolder from Gravel Hill, is looking to invest in one or two properties. He said: “I’m looking to get on the property ladder and I also want to get into property investment. So, I felt it was quite important to be here today to find out more about what’s available. It’s been absolutely amazing to be honest. I’ve met some great people at the stands and have got really positive vibes about investing in Croydon – it’s been really insightful. I’m fully aware that Westfield is coming and that creates a lot of potential here, and all the enthusiasm and passion and commitment people are bringing, makes it a good time and a place to invest.”