Friday, August 23, 2019
You are here: Isle of Man > Isle of Man News
Isle of Man News
General News
House Purchase Assistance Scheme 30 June 2011

The Department of Social Care will be seeking Tynwald approval at its July sitting for an amendment to the current House Purchase Assistance Scheme (2007) to extend grant availability to eligible open market purchases by increasing the income ceiling for grant assistance from £25,000 to £35,000 and increase the minimum grant available from £3,000 to £5,000. It is also proposed that the purchase price limit for those transferring their grant to a larger property is increased from £220,000 to £250,000 to further assist house moves. The current Scheme expires in July 2012 and so if approved these changes will have effect until that time. It is estimated that the cost of these changes to the Scheme will be £500,000 to £1,000,000 over the period to July 2012. The actual amount will be dependent upon take-up by eligible first-time buyers. This cost will be funded from the Housing Reserve.

Minister for Social Care Hon Martyn Quayle MHK commented:

“My Department’s House Purchase Assistance Scheme has proved to be a very effective way of helping individuals and families to buy their first home, something many could not have achieved without our help. Since 2000, we have helped over 1200 such individuals and families. Recently the business community has voiced concerns that the housing market has slowed and requires stimulus in order to enable it return to higher activity levels. The housing market is not only a vital source of economic activity directly, it is also linked to consumer confidence. After careful consideration by my Department, the Treasury and Council of Ministers, we are satisfied that this proposed extension of the Scheme is timely and proportionate. By increasing our support for first-time buyers for a fixed period (to July 2012), my Department will help first-time buyers and encourage them to purchase in the next year. This will stimulate the housing market, helping others to move further up the housing chain, which in turn will stimulate spending in the local economy and so help to protect jobs. We estimate that it should help an additional 125 to 150 house moves over the next year, generating economic activity worth approximately £2,000,000. To date and with Tynwald’s approval, this Government has an excellent record of providing good-quality affordable housing across the Island. I believe this proposal builds upon that success and can also make an important economic contribution at a crucial time. I hope to secure Tynwald’s support at its July sitting.”

Recent economic data reveals the extent of the slowdown in the housing market. Sales of houses and apartments have fallen in recent years by over half (from 1,962 in the year to 31 March 2008 to just 890 in the year to 31 March 2011). In recent months, representatives from the Island’s business community have expressed their concerns to Government that, without some stimulus, the low levels of housing market activity could impact the Island’s economy, not least in the construction, retail and related service sectors and lead to job losses. A key issue is that potential first time buyers are not purchasing, due not least to the deposit requirements by the banks. This prevents others further up the housing chain from moving.

The current House Purchase Assistance Scheme currently offers open market assistance to eligible purchasers with a maximum income level of £25,000 by way of a grant held as second charge against the property, which depreciates proportionally over 25 years as this is the term of an average mortgage. Depreciation is 20% of the original sum every 5 years. Should the property be sold within that time period the outstanding proportion of grant is paid back by the recipient on completion of the sale. The maximum price of the properties which can be purchased under this support is £150,000.

More stories >>>  

Related News Articles
A Fair Public Sector Rent Rise 12 November 2012
Minister announces Public Sector Rents to rise by inflation but that they will be more closely linked to the amenity values of the properties. [More]
New Chairman sought for Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission 27 April 2012
The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission has announced that it will be recruiting a new Chairman as the term of Claire Milne, a partner in Appleby (Isle of Man) LLC, an international provider of offshore legal, fiduciary and administrative services, comes to an end in July this year. [More]
Jurby Stores to Open Soon 30 November 2011
Since the previous tenant decided to cease trading earlier this year, the Department of Social Care has been actively marketing the Jurby Store premises with the assistance of local estate agents Black Grace Cowley. [More]
Reminder to all Developers, Builders, Property Owners and Landscape Gardeners in regard to Tree Protection 2 November 2011
The Ministers for both DEFA and DoI wish to remind all developers, builders, property owners and landscape gardeners that, subject to certain exceptions, no person shall; (a) cut down, uproot, or intentionally or recklessly destroy any tree which has a main trunk diameter greater than 8 cm (approx. [More]
Reminder to all developers, builders, property owners and landscape gardeners in regard to tree protection 1 November 2011
The Ministers for both DEFA and DoI wish to remind all developers, builders, property owners and landscape gardeners that, subject to certain exceptions, no person shall; (a) cut down, uproot, or intentionally or recklessly destroy any tree which has a main trunk diameter greater than 8 cm (approx. [More]

Other Guides by Maxima Systems Ltd: Disney World