There’s been a tenfold increase in big spenders looking to live and work here in the island.

Tim Groves, residential sales director at an island estate agents, says the increase in inquiries from high net worth individuals, compared to last year, has been ’significant’ and cannot be underestimated.

The pandemic has been a catalyst for people considering moving to the island, he says.

Mr Groves, who works for Black Grace Cowley, told the Manx Independent: ’The number of inquiries coming to our firm from people in general looking to relocate to the island was significantly higher than when it was pre-Covid. In February, as a business, there was an exceptional amount going on.

’People get fixated on this thing that people are coming here for tax purposes but they are also looking to come here because of other things in the island such as the sense of space here, along with safety.

’The question here is why would you not move here?’

Mr Groves said the island was ’in the same boat’ as Cornwall where people are showing interest in moving from the urban areas.

’While we have restrictions, they have been a lot less stringent than elsewhere so people are looking at the island thinking: ’’Is this somewhere where I can relocate?’’.

’In the upper end of the market, in the million pound-plus area, a tenfold increase in inquiries is an accurate statistic.’

He said he received an inquiry from someone about relocating from the northwest of England. They said that while their budget was a million and a half ’if I found them something for £600,000, that would do’.

Mr Groves said he was speaking to people ’on a daily basis’ about moving here. It had been happening through February into March and was likely to continue this month and then into May.

He said potential new residents were aware the island was currently in its latest lockdown but added ’they also know that on balance the Isle of Man Government has acted swiftly, decisively and pulled up the drawbridge’.

Graham Wilson, director of Manxmove, reported: ’The local property market continues to forge ahead and since the turn of the year can only be described as manic.’

He added: ’Enquiries from off-island purchasers have increased tenfold as many UK and overseas residents are keen to relocate here.’

Locate Isle of Man has also been busy campaigning to attract people to live and work here as the island seeks to solve its skills shortage.