‘Perfect storm’ leads to Jersey's slowest housing market for two decades

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THE number of properties being sold in Jersey has hit its lowest level for more than two decades, as a result of what one industry expert described as a “perfect storm” for the housing market.

Figures covering the first quarter of this year show that 114 properties were sold from January to March inclusive, less than half the equivalent figure from 12 months earlier.

In its latest House Price Index, published yesterday, Statistics Jersey said the turnover figure was the lowest “since at least 2002”, with one estate agent suggesting the previous low point may have come far earlier.

Broadlands director Roger Trower said: “I believe that [2002] is when they started measuring it, but I would say we could be going back a lot further, potentially to 1991, when we had a difficult period.

“It’s a perfect storm. You have the ‘Jersey premium’ on mortgage rates, which are much higher here, and the Reform Party agenda pushing for taxes to be increased in all sorts of ways, for example the extra stamp duty on second homes, which has killed that part of the market.

“It’s affected many of the smaller properties that used to be at one end of a property chain, but now those aren’t selling and so the chain no longer exists.”

Mr Trower said people who had formerly invested in property were now changing tack, with the knock-on effect on the rental sector affecting the market as a whole.

“They are seeing higher mortgage rates and all the regulations you have to deal with, and leaving their money in the bank – they don’t need the aggravation.”

The index showed that the average price of a home in the Island across the first quarter of this year was 2% lower than in the final quarter of 2023.

Although two-bedroom houses were essentially unchanged in their mean price (£651,000) compared to a year earlier, all other property types saw decreases in price across the same period:

  • One-bedroom flats down by 3.86% to £324,000.

  • Two-bedroom flats down by 8.27% to £510,000.

  • Three-bedroom houses down by 6.25% to £764,000.

  • Four-bedroom houses down by 1.23% to £1,283,000.

Overall housing market activity, on a rolling four-quarter basis, was around 17% lower than in the previous quarter and 51% lower than in the corresponding quarter of 2023.

On a rolling four-quarter basis, advertised private-sector rental prices were 3% lower during the year ending 31 March, compared with the equivalent figure from a year earlier.

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