1. ITV Report

Jersey housing market 'all but destroyed' by pandemic

Credit: ITV Channel TV

A group representing 15 Jersey Estate Agents are appealing for support from government, claiming the island’s housing market has been “all but destroyed” by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Jersey Estate Agents Association warn the situation could be worse than the 2008 financial crash.

They say they’ve been given no clear guidance on how they should safely continue to operate, and are concerned they’ve been excluded from the government’s forthcoming wage subsidy scheme designed to prevent job losses and companies collapsing.

We really feel as though we’re being left in limbo. We have businesses, we are business owners, we have admin staff, we have negotiators that are on commission or are part paid commission. We really need clarity as time is running out fast.

The government have kept money side in the rainy day fund. We’re appealing to government now to use that money for the purpose of giving. You need to act now.

– Gill Hunt, President, Jersey Estate Agents Association
  • Gill Hunt speaks to ITV News...

In an email sent to government, seen by ITV News, they highlight the scale of the problem they’re facing:

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic the industry faces potential collapse with no transactions other than a few cash transactions currently proceeding or those in progress. Whilst it is laudable that the Court process is continuing, there are a number of factors affecting the industry and all transactions that will proceed, if at all, have been in the pipeline for some weeks. It is not a normal situation.

In addition to some banks are halting lending by postponing offers to applicants, we have evidence that private lenders who fund the development industry have withdrawn finance, that a local surveyor, acting somewhat irresponsibly in our view, is imposing a valuation cut of 14.2% on agreed prices thereby destroying deals and potential feeding panic in to the market. If this continues we fear a worse crisis for Jersey than 2008.

– Jersey Estate Agents Association

Estate agents are not included in the list of businesses to benefit from a £101 million package of wage subsidies announced by government. Politicians say they may review that list and will confirm plans by 13 April.

The JEEA represents Broadlands Estates, Choice Properties, Gaudin & Co, Huelin Homes, Hunt Estates, Indigo Estates, Keys Properties, Le Gallais Estates, Lyons Estates, Maillard’s Estates, Moore Properties, ND Estates, Red Properties, Savills and Wilsons Knight Frank.

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