The news prompted Jason Moorhouse MHK to question whether a consultation for the £18,000 increase ever took place. He raised the issue in the House of Keys.
Properties available through the government’s first-time buyer scheme are two-bed houses, which cost £168,000. There will be more first-time buyers homes made available which will be three-bed houses, costing £185,000.
Some of the housing was made available between August 2022 and May 2023 at the price of £150,000 which, according to Infrastructure Minister Chris Thomas, is because these individuals were further down the process of completion before changes to a scheme were made.
Mr Thomas said that under planning law 25% of the houses in the estate are made available as affordable housing.
Through this scheme, 16 houses in the estate have a substantial discount to market price, he said.
In this case Mr Thomas, who is also chair of the Housing and Community Board, said: ‘This is something of the order of £80,000.’
He said that the department does not consult with applicants of the first-time buyers register about selling prices, or first-time buyer properties, as the prices are set out in the Shared Equity Purchase Assistance Scheme.
Last year’s amendments to the scheme were made following consultation with stakeholders, which include mortgage providers, financial advisors and local residential developers to ensure the balance remain between build cost and financial provision, according to the minister.
He said: ‘The amendments to the maximum selling prices under the Shared Equity Purchase Assistance First Time Fix Scheme 2014 as amended it was approved in Tynwald in July 2022.
‘The maximum selling price under the scheme for a two bedroom house was increased at that point to £175,000.
‘With regards to this specific site, there has been a transition between the old prices and the new increased prices under the scheme.’
Mr Thomas added: ‘The department has been able to negotiate a discount to the increase in price of the two-bedroom houses at The Meadows, to £7,000 below the maximum.’
This was said in the House of Keys and after Mr Moorhouse, MHK for Arbory, Castletown and Malew, questioned whether the increase in maximum housing price under the first time buyers scheme was communicated effectively, Mr Thomas apologised saying that he was sorry if it was not clear.
There will be no more houses being made available in The Meadows estate through the government’s first-time buyers scheme.