Below are what I feel are the key factors that will affect 2022.
Regulation of Agencies
Broadlands are all for this and have been actively speaking to the relevant people about how to enact this. When you consider that we deal with many people’s biggest asset and investment. That anyone can set up in their living room without being subject to checks and accreditation is a little absurd. Regulation needs to be brought in sooner rather than later.
It has been mentioned by some that if estate agents are regulated then this will curtail the increasing prices of property. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Whilst regulation will mean that the agents will become more accountable we do not drive the prices up. That is down to market demands and this is out of our control.
While I doubt it will happen in 2022 the entire sales process in Jersey needs to be looked at and changed. Currently, there are just too many risks and not enough checks pre offering on a property that needs to be in place.
Interest rate rise
With interest rates still low, we expect much the same for the start of the year but there may be an increase by the end of the year. If interest rates rise then it may affect affordability for people who have leveraged highly on their purchase and their mortgage payments increase. This in turn may mean that some cannot afford the monthly payments but it will not mean that there will be a recession. More than likely a small market adjustment. Overall with the level of demand if the base rate does increase it will only to around 1% which is still incredibly low.
If you drive around Jersey, especially St Helier you would have noticed that there is a high level of building currently going on. But even demand for these properties (mainly apartments) is very high and most have been sold off-plan. Yet it seems that developers and the States cannot build fast enough to keep up with the current demand.
How can this be solved? Currently, it seems to be anyone’s guess. Repurposing old sites such as St Saviours Hospital, the old Les Quennevais School, etc seem to be the best way to go. There is also a solid argument to rezone fields but again does Jersey want to sacrifice green areas to do this? It is a very difficult decision. One thing is for certain, you are not going to please everyone.