First-time property buyers aired their frustration after the latest government inflation statistics for 2020 revealed that the average house price on the island is now £310,442. This is an increase of almost £19,000 compared to 2019.
Apprehensive first time buyers
The current housing market has compelled young people to buy across. Jessica Buttimore, 25, recently bought a house with her partner in Newcastle.
She said: ‘House prices for first-time buyers on the Isle of Man are crazy. The one I bought here (Newcastle) was probably a third of the price of a three-bedroom semi-detached house on the Isle of Man.’ She said she would love to move back to Peel one day but believed it is far too expensive.
Matthew Cover, 21, commented on the ‘mad’ increase in prices compared to the very small increase in wages. He said: ‘It just seems incredibly unrealistic for me to be able to have my own home on the island.’
Another student, Eleanor Davies, 22, of the Isle of Man College said: ‘It’s pushing people to move away when you compare house prices in the UK. More should be done to help Manx residents get on the ladder.’
Master’s student Emma Vickers, 22, is still keen to settle here but said: ‘It is ridiculous and it definitely feels like a barrier there.’
Why the increase?
Rochelle Ingham from Black Grace Cowley said one of the main reasons there is such high demand is because: ‘Most people often go away on holiday spending thousands. Due to the pandemic, people have not been able to do this. As a result, they have either undertaken home improvements or have purchased a larger property.’ Rochelle explained that there is no sign of house prices dropping at the moment but however has noticed there has actually been an increase in first-time buyers despite the expensive prices. She said: ‘The banks are currently offering good mortgage rates and because they have not been able to go away, they have saved enough for a deposit.’
Anything to be done?
The gov is keen to keep young Manx people on the island through different incentives such as: Offering advice through the Isle of Man careers service and refund on National insurance after the first year of working. However, many recent graduates are apprehensive about the move back to the island and saving for a growing deposit.
Many MHK’s have stated they want to see a change to the housing market. Policy and Reform Minister Ray Harmer, said: ‘Social inclusion remains vitally important such as expanding affordable housing.’ Manx residents are keen for a change to be made after the September election.