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30 applications for every affordable family home

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‘ENORMOUS’ demand for affordable homes means that more than 30 people apply to buy every discounted family home that comes on the market, the Island’s social housing provider has said.

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Andium Homes say they see very high interest in the sought-after properties as soon as they become available.

Last week, the latest Jersey House Price Index report revealed that house prices in Jersey had soared by 12 per cent over the past year, leading to concerns that more Islanders will be unable to get onto the property ladder.

Mortgage lenders Skipton said that they thought the current market was ‘unsustainable’ and that the soaring prices were being fuelled by a lack of supply and increasing demand.

Andium Homes agreed, saying that there was a lack of supply, but they urged Islanders not to give up hope of owning their own home. The States-owned company plans to bring dozens more discounted units onto the market within the next two years.

Jonathan Gough, Andium Homes’ head of financial planning, said that whenever affordable family homes were advertised the demand was ‘enormous’.

‘There is a lack of supply. That is something I have seen with the affordable housing gateway – we need more and more homes and people want affordable housing,’ he said.

‘Every time we market a three-bedroom property on the gateway, the demand is enormous and we know it is going to sell. We get at least 30 people wanting the home and we don’t even market it to everyone – just people on the affordable housing gateway.’

Last week it was reported that the average cost of a three-bedroom family house in Jersey had reached £586,000. The average price of a home was £496,000, compared to £224,000 in the UK as a whole and £476,000 in London.

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Mr Gough said that he did not want Islanders to lose hope that they could afford to buy a home and urged them to contact Andium if they wanted help.

‘We are here to make sure that people don’t lose hope. That’s what the Andium Homebuy scheme is about,’ he said.

‘If you look at the properties we are selling on it you can get three-bedroom homes for £292,000. So I would say to people please get on the gateway or come to speak to us.’

He added that Andium was building a number of affordable family homes which would be coming onto the market within the next two years.

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‘We have a lot of sites and we have spades in the ground. A lot of affordable homes are going to be coming up in the next 18 to 24 months,’ he said.

‘We will soon be marketing six units at the De La Mare site in Grouville, and there is going to be 40 three-bedroom homes at Samarès available to buy.’

‘And we have other schemes which we are working on.’

Andium aims to build 2,000 new homes in the Island by 2025, 1,000 of which will be for purchase.

Other first-time buyer schemes which are due to complete soon include 15 units at the boiler house on the former Ann Street Brewery site and seven homes on the Summerland site at Rouge Bouillon.

There are currently 425 people on the Affordable Housing Gateway waiting list for rental accommodation and 1,020 applicants for discounted first-time buyer homes, 500 of whom want to purchase three-bedroom family houses.

Due to the much higher demand for affordable properties to purchase, Andium has recently adjusted its strategy so that it will be selling more of its planned units rather than renting them out.

More details about the affordable housing gateway and Homebuy scheme can be found at andiumhomes.je or by calling Andium on 500700.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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