JERSEY’S housing market will not crash, an estate agent has said, despite some analysts in the UK predicting that high inflation and rising interest rates could cause a collapse in prices.
Roger Trower, owner and chief executive of Broadlands, one of the Island’s largest estate agents, said demand across all levels of the market remained high.
He said there would be no crash in prices in Jersey, but that the Island might see a drop in the number of transactions, with people who do not need to sell their homes sitting tight while the cost of living rises.
‘I have been doing this for 40 years and through four or five recessions. The Jersey market has never crashed,’ he said.
There was still a lot of mortgage financing available, but Islanders might have to get used to the idea they will spend more on their mortgage payments, he added.
And Island mortgage providers have told the JEP that business remains brisk, despite the cost of a three-bedroom home hitting a record £898,000.
Peter Seymour, of the Mortgage Shop, said: ‘We look at the Jersey housing market daily, and while the year got off to a slow start, things seem to have picked up during the past few months despite rising interest rates and the rumbling threat of an autumn recession.
‘Our mortgage order book is full and we are meeting a steady flow of new clients on a daily basis.’
Lorraine McLean, the manager of Skipton’s Mortgage Centre, agreed, saying that affordability was being stretched but demand continued to exceed supply across the market.
‘Soaring property prices and slower wage growth have combined to stretch traditional methods of affordability,’ she said.
‘However, we also know from previously strong transaction levels that demand has been extremely consistent, both from home-buyers seeking to move to larger properties and first-time buyers looking to take their first step onto the ladder.’
However, many first-time buyers continue to struggle, and Ms McLean admitted that unless they had ‘help from the bank of mum and dad’, buying a ‘first-time property can be difficult’.
Mr Seymour added: ‘We have detected a slight change in that some first-time buyers are becoming more cautious as they are concerned about rising mortgage costs, while home-movers seem to be less bothered, perhaps because they are the ones who have more disposable income to cover any future rise in the cost of borrowing.’
He continued: ‘Mortgage borrowing appears to be about the same as last year, which is a good sign, and this is perhaps attributable to the fact that the unsustainable increase in house prices that we witnessed post-Covid seems to have tailed off.’
Thompson Estates director Vicky Gurd said buyers also seemed to be taking more time to choose the right property and added that she thought the market would level out.
‘There seems to be more choice in the market at the moment. People seem to be taking their time as opposed to even four months ago when properties were going under offer as soon as they were coming to the market,’ she said.
‘A lot of people seem to be leaving the Island, so there are fewer chains.’