UK ‘could learn from Jersey’ on property

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A former president of the National Association of Estate Agents, Mr Kent is now a media pundit and is currently the property ‘guru’ for the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2.

But Mr Kent is also an adviser to the industry, and he was in Jersey this week to talk to local estate agents about the state of the UK market.

Estate agents in Jersey don’t deal exclusively with the local market, and it is important that they keep up to date with mainland issues,’ he said.

‘My main objective is to let people know about a government initiative called the Home Information Package which will completely turn the industry on its head.

The responsibility for preparing a house for sale, including all surveys and searches, will now fall on the seller rather than the purchaser, and it will have to be completed before the property is allowed to go on the market.

Only 30 per cent of houses on the market have surveys, so it is going to be a huge burden and will slow up the process of buying or selling a house.

It is something to which the industry is vehemently opposed, but the government seem to be steaming ahead regardless.

‘I know why – the Kyoto agreement forces the UK to produce a detailed inventory of the country’s housing stock and they want home owners to pay for it.

This will have a huge impact on any Islanders buying or selling properties in the UK.

Looking at local property, Mr Kent said that in some ways the UK could learn from Jersey.

It seems that there is sufficient supply into the market and this is causing prices to stabilise,’ he said.

‘We have seen 25% inflation in the UK because the government have been reluctant to free up sites.

Only now have they recognised that building on brownfield sites alone will not supply demand, and the inflation rate has now fallen to about 12%.

Although recognising that housing restrictions are necessary on a small island, Mr Kent is concerned about the top end of the market in Jersey.

The higher end is not as healthy as it could be, and the Island needs to make sure that it is open to people who can afford to pay for and then maintain their houses.

This has an important knock-on effect of providing work for local tradesmen.

I think that Jersey is being a bit short-sighted in this respect.

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