New housing construction on the Isle of Man – both public and private – has collapsed in half, according to new data obtained by the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance under freedom of information protections.
In the five years to 2009, 1,975 new dwellings were completed, for an average of 395 dwellings per year. In the five years to 2021, just 948 new dwellings were completed, for an average of 190 homes per year – less than half as many. Those newly completed dwellings includes replacement homes built on brownfield sites as older housing stock becomes unfit for human habitation.
The figures were revealed by the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance as the result of a freedom of information request to the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Infrastructure.
The collapse in new housing construction on the Isle of Man is correlated with extreme housing unaffordability locally, with many young Manx families able to buy their own home to build their own family.
“Housing is the biggest cost in many family budgets on the Isle of Man. The failure to build sufficient housing is a key reason that housing is incredibly expensive on the Isle of Man, and a key reason that both rents and mortgages are inaccessible to many Manx families,” said Michael Josem of the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance. “This new data obtained from the Isle of Man Government reveals a massive failure to build enough housing on the Isle of Man to keep up with demand.”
Both public and private sectors affected
The failure to build enough housing has been a problem in both the private and public sector.
“In the nine years to 2013, the Isle of Man built an average of 141 public sector dwellings per year. In the eight years since, the Isle of Man has built just 53 dwellings per year, a fall of more than 60%,” said Josem.
Risk of bubble
The Isle of Man Government’s heavy restrictions on housing construction creates the risk of a financial bubble, because the regulatory restrictions artificially inflate the cost of housing due to artificial scarcity. This increases the financial risk to many Manx households in the event of the bubble popping.