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First time buyers are "desperate"

First time buyers are

Monday 18 June 2018

First time buyers are "desperate"

An estate agent has said first time buyers in Guernsey are desperate to get on the property ladder and he said further delays with a housing strategy are not helping.

Spencer Noyon of Swoffers has suggested ideas like a reduction in document duty or a deposit protection scheme for first time buyers which he said would help the housing market in general which has been in a reported slump for some time.

The Swoffers Director was responding to the release last week of a policy letter by the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure which detailed the findings of a report it had carried out into the local housing market.

The committee has set out a number of work streams it will use to develop a "holistic housing strategy", using the findings and recommendations of the report, which was done by KPMG.

Affordable Housing (including social housing) is one of the 23 priorities agreed by the States of Guernsey. While the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure has overall responsibility for advising the States and developing policy with respect to general housing (including policy provision for Social and Affordable Housing), issues identified in the KPMG report fall into a number of other Committees’ mandates, most notably the Committee for Employment & Social Security, the Policy & Resources Committee, the Committee for Economic Development and the Development & Planning Authority.

As such, the development of a Housing Strategy within the estimated two-year timeframe would require much cross-committee work and support.

The work streams identified in the policy letter are as follows:

  • Adopting reduced Strategic Housing Indicators instead of Targets.
  • A review of the partial ownership scheme.
  • Analysis of current and future cost of government intervention in the housing market, and the economic and financial implications of possible policy interventions including assessment of the impacts of a deposit guarantee scheme for first-time buyers.
  • Development of a Key Worker Housing Strategy.
  • Analysis and assessment of the private rental market including adequacy of legislative protection for tenants and landlords.
  • Review of the 2014 analysis of the reduction in Document Duty for first-time buyers, and a review of the Conveyancing Court and bond fees.
  • Development of an elderly tenure strategyincluding assessment  of specialised housing and extra care housing requirements.

However, Mr Noyon is concerned more first time buyers could struggle to buy homes if there is another two year wait for work on the housing strategy.

Speaking in a video produced by Swoffers, Mr Noyon said his staff are seeing first time buyers in "desperate need" adding that their own research has proven that support schemes elsewhere have helped people get their first foot on the property ladder.

He thinks people are leaving the island because they can't afford to buy here, whilst property prices are decreasing. Despite this he is calling for those support schemes to be investigated locally. 

Above: Mr Noyon speaking in a video produced by Swoffers 

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