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First Time Home Buyers Assistance

Tynwald approved amendments to the Shared Equity Purchase Assistance (SEPA) Schemes will come into effect from 2 August 2022:

  • Income eligibility thresholds are being increased
  • Property price and type limitations are being removed for the Choice Scheme
  • Changes to how interest will be charged on new loans
  • More flexibility for repayment of all Equity Loans
The Department is currently in the process of updating application forms and guidance notes which will be available to download from the website from 2 August 2022.

Buying Your First Home

First Time Home Buyers Assistance page

Buying your first house is exciting, but it can also be quite a daunting prospect.

We would encourage anyone who is considering getting themselves onto the first rung of the property ladder to contact us for guidance on whether or not assistance may be available for you and what you might need to do.

This webpage hopes to provide some basic information on the service we provide for first time buyers. Any information provided on this webpage is for guidance purposes only and is not intended to offer a definitive interpretation of either of the Shared Equity Purchase Assistance Schemes.

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Shared Equity Purchase Assistance

The Department of Infrastructure provides financial assistance to eligible First Time Buyers via two Shared Equity Schemes.

This is done by providing an equity loan, up to a maximum of 30% of the property purchase price. In return, the Department takes an equivalent share in the value of your property.

Under the First Home Fixed Scheme, you may apply to the Register of First Time Buyers to be considered for specific properties that are sold at a discounted price. You would also then receive an equity loan towards the purchase. The type of property you may be offered for purchase at a discounted price depends on your household size as shown in the table below:

Eligible PersonsApproved Dwelling Type (Subject to need)Maximum Purchase Price (Discounted)
Single person or couple without children 2 bed apartment
2 bed house
Up to £150,000
Up to £175,000
Single person or couple with children 2 bed house
3 bed house
Up to £175,000
Up to £185,000

Alternatively, under the First Home Choice Scheme, you may use the equity loan to purchase any property advertised on the open market with no less than 55 square metres floor area and a separate bedroom and bathroom.

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for our help to buy your first home you must:

  • have been an Isle of Man resident for at least the last 5 years
  • not have owned a property before on the Island or anywhere else (see Second Time Buyer section below)
  • have a total gross income of no more than the relevant limits in the tables below:

First Home Fixed

Eligible PersonsMaximum Annual Income
Single Persons £33,000
Couples - no children £44,000
Single or couple with 1 or more children £55,000

First Home Choice

Eligible PersonsMaximum Annual Income
Single Persons £39,000
Couples - no children £62,000
Single or couple with 1 or more children £67,000

Second Time Buyer

If you have previously owned property the Department may consider accepting an application from you under one of the Shared Equity Schemes. However, you will be required to provide additional information about the property you owned, how much you received from the sale of your interest in that property and whether you need assistance in order to purchase a property that is suitable for your household. For more information about whether you may apply for assistance, pleasecontact one of our Customer Service Officers in the first instance on +44 1624 685955.

If you are a CURRENT property owner you may NOT apply for any assistance under either of the Shared Equity Schemes.

Preparing for and obtaining a mortgage

In order to purchase a First Time Buyer property, whether an 'approved' or open market dwelling, applicants must be able to secure sufficient mortgage in order to provide the majority of the funds required to purchase the property. The Isle of Man Banker's Association has provided a helpful leaflet (see downloadable documents) to give potential First Time Buyers tips on how to increase success in obtaining a mortgage. 

The purchase of a home is a major decision and is likely to require your largest ever financial commitment. Buying a property involves not just monthly mortgage repayments, but also rates, insurance and repairs and maintenance. 

Before considering home ownership you should seek advice from a professional mortgage/financial adviser.

What should I do now?

To obtain assistance through the First Home Fixed Scheme, you would need to apply to the Register of First Time Buyers. Once on the Register you may be considered for properties coming available in areas of the island that you are interested in.

If applying for assistance through the First Home Choice Scheme, you may be able to obtain an approval in principle letter from us, which would be valid for up to three months. You may then find a property you want to buy and find out more about a mortgage.

If you wish to proceed with an application, please contact one of our Customer Service Officers in the first instance on +44 1624 685955. They will help you to understand how the Schemes work and the process that you may go through to obtain assistance.

Find out more

Find Out MoreFurther information is available in Explanatory Leaflets for the Schemes in the ‘Downloadable Documents’ section of this page.

If you believe that you may be eligible for assistance through either Scheme then please contact our Customer Service Team in the first instance.

The Housing Office is based at Markwell House on Market Street, Douglas. You may speak to one of our officers in person by calling in to the General Counter on the ground floor between 9am to 1pm. To make sure you are not disappointed it is best to make an appointment in advance.

Telephone: +44 1624 685955 Please note that all calls are recorded for quality and training purposes.

Email: Send Email

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