Fixing the First Time Buyers Scheme

Tynwald will be asked to back changes to the island’s first time buyer scheme next month as Chris Thomas seeks to make strives against the housing crisis.

The plans would, the gov hopes, make it easier for people to buy their first home.

If approved, the scheme would altered to see a raising of the income thresholds for each category of eligible persons in the Fixed Scheme (we’ll explain this at the end) by 9.46% and then rounded up to the nearest £1,000. This percentage figure used is the change in actual median annual earnings between 2017 and 2020, which represent the year in which the income thresholds in that Scheme were last updated and the latest available data from Statistics Isle of Man.

The income thresholds in the Choice Scheme are being increased by 11.28% and are likewise, being rounded up to the nearest £1,000. The percentage figure used in this case is taken from the change in actual median annual earnings between 2014 and 2020 since the income thresholds in the Choice Scheme have not been updated since its introduction in 2014.

What About Me?

A very fair question, actually it’s probably the most important.

So, here’s the changes:

Meanwhile, maximum purchase price limits for the Fixed Scheme are being increased in accordance with increases in median sale prices between 2014 and 2020:

Other Changes

The Choice Scheme, which enables applicants to the scheme to purchase a house on the open market, currently restricts property purchases dependent on the category of eligible persons to a maximum purchase price of £190,000 and to properties no larger than houses with four bedrooms. The amendments to the Choice Scheme will remove these limitations entirely.

The Minister:

DoI Minister and chair of the Housing and Communities Board, Chris Thomas said: ‘The revised income thresholds for both Schemes widens access to the scheme for those looking to own their first home whilst the removal of property type and price limitations in the Choice Scheme, as well as increasing maximum house purchase price limits in the Fixed Scheme, should also increase flexibility for applicants and encourage more successful applications.’

‘These changes are intended to provide a short-term solution to enhance the island’s offering to potential first time buyers and some others whilst a fundamental review of Shared Equity and its alternatives are undertaken as outlined in the Housing and Communities Action Plan.’

The Housing and Communities Board is hosting a webinar on Friday between 11am and 12pm about proposed changes to the First Time Buyers Schemes and an upcoming review of Shared Equity schemes. This Webinar is open to the public, stakeholders, media and other interested parties – registration is available through Eventbrite.

Read the Tynwald Notes: