Jersey’s property market is inherently stable and robust enough to survive the continuing economic uncertainty, according to a local property expert.
Paul Deveau (pictured), Conveyancing Manager at law firm Benest & Syvret, says that although the on-going nervousness in global markets will continue to have an effect on house prices everywhere, locally there are encouraging signs that the housing market is faring remarkably well in the circumstances.
Speaking at a seminar hosted by Benest & Syvret for Estate Agents, Mr Deveau said that 2012 is likely to remain a difficult year but there is evidence that the level of transactions has remained solid and prices have not fallen by anywhere near the amounts seen in other countries.
“Historically, even in harder times, property prices in Jersey have tended to flatten rather than plummet before rising again as the economy improves,” said Mr Deveau. “It would appear that prices have fallen back a little, but the result of that has been a perceptible increase in activity as people have changed to a more positive mind set.”
Citing the latest data from the States of Jersey Statistics Unit, Mr Deveau told the seminar audience that the volume of transactions over the past few quarters had shown a respectable increase but in reality people remain cautious about buying or selling property. “In the lower to middle market people are reluctant to step onto the property ladder while there is so much uncertainty about employment and redundancy, whilst in the upper bands the prospects of reduced income or bonuses has dampened the enthusiasm to move” he said.
Mr Deveau said it’s important that Estate Agents make sure their clients come to market with firm offers of finance and that their valuations of property are realistic and based on the underlying strength of the market.
More than half of private households in Jersey are owner-occupied which means that much of the Island’s personal wealth is tied up in property. Mr Deveau believes that one reason why the Island’s property market remains relatively strong is because the majority of people have a keen interest in how well it is performing.
Benest & Syvret is one of Jersey’s leading property specialist law firms, catering for the residential and commercial property markets.
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