Liberal Vannin Investigation Reveals State of Manx Housing Crisis

A new investigation using previously unreleased Isle of Man Government data clearly shows the housing crisis harming Manx families. This report was compiled using new data obtained through Freedom of Information research by Liberal Vannin.

Michael Josem, the Chair of Liberal Vannin said:

“This new data reveals that the median cost of a house on the Isle of Man was over 72% more expensive in the 2010s than in the 1990s as a multiple of median earnings. This means that for too many people, buying their own home is now just a distant fantasy.”

Key facts:

  • Throughout the 1990s, a median house in the Isle of Man cost an average of 5.18 times median earnings.
  • Throughout the 2010s, a median house in the Isle of Man cost an average of 8.94 times median earnings. This is a rise of 72.8% from the 1990s.
  • In 2019, the housing crisis worsened further, with a 6% increase in the median house price on the Isle of Man compared to 2018, while median earnings increased only 3.5%.

The chart below shows the surge in median Manx house prices (orange) and the increase in median Manx earnings (grey) since 1988:

House prices are primarily set by a combination of supply and demand. This newly-revealed data conclusively shows that demand has outstripped supply, leading to an artificial surge in prices that make it inaccessible for many Manx families to own their own home. These prices create consequential increases in rental prices, and in doing so, add additional pressure on household budgets. It further creates risks of a housing bubble, creating financial risks if housing prices return to normal levels.

In addition, the high cost of housing sucks money out of the economy, reducing spending on local businesses and wages. It further pushes the young people of Mann to consider migrating elsewhere, where housing is less expensive.

Michael Josem, the Chair of Liberal Vannin said:

“For many households, the cost of hosing – whether it be rent or mortgage – is the biggest contributor to the high cost of living. High housing costs suck money out of the productive economy and reduces the quality of living for many families in our community. We need to ease the squeeze on families and make housing more accessible to the people of Mann.”

Isle of Man Government fails to release 2019 Housing Report

In April 2017, the Isle of Man Government released the Isle of Man Housing Market Review 2016. In May 2018, the Isle of Man Government released the Isle of Man Housing Market Review 2017. In May 2019, the Isle of Man Government released the Isle of Man Housing Market Review 2018. At the time of writing in September 2020, the Isle of Man Government has not published the 2019 Isle of Man Housing Market Review in its usual fashion, and hence, these figures obtained from the Liberal Vannin Freedom of Information investigation appear to be new to the public domain. It is unclear why the Isle of Man Government has failed to publish its annual housing report in the normal fashion, even allowing for Coronavirus-related delays.

Underlying Data

The underlying data provided by the Isle of Man Government in response to our freedom of information request is available online here.

The data used to create the chart and analysis above by Michael Josem is available online here.

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