Housing Minister welcomes release of 63 ‘affordable’ homes – but admits Islanders may have to rely on the ‘bank of mum and dad’ to afford their first property

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THE Housing Minister has welcomed the release of 63 first-time-buyer homes at a St Helier development – for a minimum of £370,000 – describing them as an ‘affordable’ way to get on the property ladder.

But Deputy David Warr also admitted that Islanders may have to rely on the ‘bank of mum and dad’ in order to afford their first home in Jersey.

Property developer Le Masurier recently announced that a batch of one- and two-bedroom apartments at their Merchants Square development in Bath Street would go on sale exclusively for first-time buyers on Saturday 1 October.

The price of a one-bedroom flat ranged from £370,000 to £410,000, while a two-bedroom apartment ranged from £460,000 to £540,000.

The most recent Jersey house price index revealed the average price of a one-bedroom flat had risen to £353,000, while the average price of a two-bedroom flat was £536,000.

Commenting ahead of the sale, Deputy Warr said: ‘It’s a way of affordable access to grow home ownership. First-time buyers does not refer just to young people.’

Housing Minister David Warr Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (34387120)

He added: ‘It’s the first time that a one-bedroom flat is looking anything like reasonable. Le Masurier, rather than taking full profit, are reducing prices.

‘If you are talking about a one-bedroom flat, in relative terms, I’ve seen ones which are £500,000.’

Deputy Warr said: ‘So much depends on what you have to contribute and so much will depend on what you will have in your bank account.

‘A lot of people have the bank of mum and dad, but for a lot of people it will be challenging.’

Le Masurier managing director Brian McCarthy said the firm was ‘acutely aware’ that first-time buyers had ‘limited options with current stock in the housing market’.

He added that the company wanted to provide an ‘exclusive opportunity’ ahead of general release.

On the affordability of the development for first-time buyers, Mr McCarthy said: ‘We specifically have a pricing strategy and our prices are cheaper than our competitors.’

In March last year, prospective buyers for the Soave apartments – the third phase of Le Masurier’s Merchants Square development – queued from as early as 2pm the day before they went on sale.

Most recent Jersey price index

– One-bedroom flat: £353,000.

– Two-bedroom flat: £536,000.

– Two-bedroom house: £664,000.

– Three-bedroom house: £853,000.

– Four-bedroom house: £1,329,000.

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