Hundreds of homes planned for town hotel sites

HUNDREDS of new homes on the sites of hotels are being proposed for St Helier – with a 25% payment-deferral scheme to help first-time buyers.

Andium Homes is joining forces with Dandara with the aim of delivering 405 properties on the sites of the Mayfair, Apollo and Revere hotels. This forms part of Andium’s commitment to deliver 3,000 new homes by 2030 and follows the submission of planning applications by Dandara for each site last year.

Some of the properties will be sold through the Andium Homebuy scheme, which offers first-time buyers a deferred payment of up to 25% of the price of a home. The deferred payment is indefinite and is only repaid when the purchaser sells the property. It means that a £400,000 apartment could be bought by a first-time buyer for £300,000, with the remaining £100,000 being paid once the property is sold.

The Island’s strained housing market has come under criticism recently with a Housing Policy Development Board finding that it was ‘not fit for purpose’ while the difficulties for first-time buyers were laid bare when a £295,000 listing for a 21.3sq-m property appeared online. The listing has since been removed.

Latest figures, up to the end of last year, show that an average Jersey house costs £567,000 compared to £249,000 in the UK. An average one-bedroom flat in Jersey costs £300,000 while a two-bedroom apartment is, on average, £440,000.

The demand for housing has been so high that queues formed overnight in an effort to secure a property at a development under construction in Bath Street.

In 2019, a review of the Island’s housing stock estimated that 7,000 new homes – the equivalent of a small town – were needed by 2030 in order to meet demand.

The three-hotel £136 million project is scheduled for completion in 2025 – subject to the necessary planning approvals – and is being funded from the private loan facility, which Andium secured last year.

Ian Gallichan, chief executive of Andium Homes, said: ‘These are extremely important and exciting projects for those in need of a quality home and a welcome boost for the construction industry as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.’

The project will consist mostly of one- and two-bed apartments, totalling 204 homes at the Mayfair, 95 homes at the Apollo and 106 homes at the Revere.

Carl Mavity, Andium’s head of strategy, policy and communications, said the number of units that would be available through the deferred-payment scheme was yet to be decided, but that it would be based on the demand shown by the government’s Affordable Housing Gateway.

‘We estimate that the combined number of new-build and existing property sales will provide a total of 1,256 first-time-buyer purchasing opportunities by 2030,’ he said.

Housing Minister Russell Labey described the project as a ‘significant development’ and said that it was ‘very much welcomed’.

‘First and foremost, it will deliver a considerable number of high-quality affordable homes for Islanders and keeps Andium on track for delivering on its ambitious target of 3,000 new affordable homes by 2030,’ he said. ‘Increasing the supply of homes, particularly affordable homes, is key to helping us to create a more sustainable housing market for the people of Jersey.’

Assistant Treasury Minister Lindsay Ash added that the project would help to ‘reduce income inequality’ and improve the standard of living.

Martin Clancy, managing director of Dandara, said: ‘We are extremely pleased and very proud to be partnering with Andium in providing the Island with this much-needed affordable housing.’

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