A rapidly growing island population, better bank lending and demand from investors choosing new-build houses when looking to stay ahead of inflation are just some of the factors that are seeing the best first quarter for the Isle of Man’s property market since 2008.
This insight into why the market is suddenly so buoyant comes from James Greenhalgh, managing director of family run Hartford Homes, who is reporting a surge in sales and some light at the end of a very long tunnel.
“The market was on tick over from 2008 to 2012, with a notable increase in frequency of sales apparent in 2013. Now, there is an accelerating and continuing improvement which we expect to continue for the rest of 2014 and beyond.”
He added: “So far this year our new developments are selling out ‘off plan’ within weeks of being released.”
Mr Greenhalgh cites as an example 13 out of 14 detached homes selling ‘off plan’ within a month of the Hartford Homes development at Briarville Gardens in Ramsey being launched. It is a pattern he expects to be repeated when the company reveals detailed plans for other new developments around the island later this year.
“There is no doubt, times are still tough and most of us remain well aware that we continue to face significant challenges which continue to resound from the global economic crisis. However, property has remained relatively stable and the rental market continues to boom.
“The banks are doing more lending then they were five years ago and the island’s population, currently 86,500, is growing much faster than predicted. Generally, business around the world is more stable than it was five years ago and the US and UK housing markets have both seen confidence return. Additionally, more people from the UK and beyond are moving to the Isle of Man which helps the market at all levels. Against this background we don’t envisage a let-up in demand.”
He concluded: “Pricing is still important, but we have already had a few small rises on certain sites. Buyers are increasingly aspirational and want homes that deliver on their desires. That is something we have specialised in and a service we continue to deliver.”
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