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Residential property


Jersey holds steady


While Jersey’s residential property market has been remarkably flat in recent years, most experts still believe there is little cause for concern, as Kirsten Morel discovers


J 6 PS February/March 2012


UST LIKE THE mainland, Jersey is very much a property-owning society. According to the most recent Jersey Housing Needs Survey, 52 per cent


of private households are owner-occupied, and as a result much of the island’s personal wealth is tied up in property. In recent decades Jersey’s population


has continued to grow, largely because of the success of the financial services industry. This has inevitably led to rising house prices – a trend that has only ever been disrupted at times of recession. Yet even during harder times, property values have flattened rather than fallen before building again as the economy improves. More recent economic turmoil has had


a similar effect to those past downturns, flattening prices and slowing the number of transactions (428 in 2010/11 compared with 1024 in 2007/8). With four years having passed since the credit crunch


triggered the global recession, many had hoped the island’s economy would be back on track for growth, but looking at house prices as an economic


barometer, it appears that the island is still in the doldrums. The Jersey House Price Index shows


that there’s been no improvement in prices since the beginning of 2008. The mix-adjusted average cost of a home has hovered around the £420,000 mark for almost four years. More recently, the third quarter of 2011 saw a sudden fall of four per cent compared to the previous 12-month period – but it’s not necessarily a reason to be pessimistic about 2012. “I urge caution when looking


at one quarter’s statistics,” says Jim Coupe, Managing Director at Skipton International. “Volumes aren’t racing away but they are solid.” Robin Sappé, Director at Le Gallais


Estates in Jersey, echoes this sentiment: “I’d compare the drop to 2009. There was a four per cent decline in December figures, which was balanced by a four per cent increase in the March figures. Really, it’s a constant,” he says.


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