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Boom time for housing market as homes sell in 24 hours

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THE housing market is experiencing a boom similar to pre-recession activity with some properties being snapped up within 24 hours, an estate agent has said.

Some properties are being snapped up within 24 hours

Andre Benest, managing director of Benest Estates, said it is currently a seller’s market with demand outstripping supply in properties from first-time buyer flats to £700,000 homes.

He added that market activity had increased over the last 18 months particularly within one-, two- and three-bedroom properties and that it was now ‘reminiscent of where it was in 2007 prior to the 2008 crash’.

Increased confidence among employers – who are more likely to award pay rises, more investment purchasers and UK and international politics have all been suggested as contributing to the boom.

News of the buoyant market comes at the same time as a petition is launched calling for more first-time buyer homes to be built across the Island to help young people get a foot on the property ladder.

‘The market is very busy,’ Mr Benest said. ‘There are not enough properties to meet the demands of the buyers. It is cheap to borrow money at the moment.

‘A lot of people are looking to purchase and there are more investment purchasers who have never looked at investing before but who have not been making any interest on their money.’

Although the same number of properties are coming onto the market Mr Benest said as there are more buyers stock is ‘tight’.

‘The market is so positive that is why we go to the market for a couple of weeks to get a good measure of what is happening and to get a good price for our vendor,’ he said.

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‘There are some agents revelling in the fact that they are selling a house in 24 hours.’

Mr Benest said house prices were rising due to the increase in demand.

‘It’s basic economics,’ he said. ‘Last year prices rose three per cent across the board which was mostly driven by the cheaper end of the market. It was four per cent the year before.

‘The one reason why house prices go up is because wages go up. There is a lot more confidence within employers after a lot of holding back. People were not getting pay rises a few years ago but it is becoming commonplace.’

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Roger Trower, managing director of Broadlands, also said that the market was picking up across the board – including in the more expensive market.

‘The £450,000 to £650,000 part of the market was really not doing so well but that is beginning to move. People are wanting to move out of their flats or small cottages. The local lenders are keen to get involved.

‘On top of that the £1 million to £2 million market is busy as well. There are a lot of up-and-coming couples.’

When asked how long a property would currently stay on his books, he replied: ‘Two phone calls. If something is on that is really good and priced correctly it will sell to the first person who turns up.’

Mr Trower said politics had played a part in boosting Jersey’s housing market.

‘It’s been a gradual crescendo since autumn last year – it’s been gradually picking up,’ he said. ‘The bad weather didn’t do us a favour – it held people back as they were not in the right frame of mind to buy.

‘There is a general feeling that the world is not going to end. Brexit and Trump – life goes on. We are also seeing an influx of people trying to move offshore because of the chance Corbyn might get in.’

Krysta Eaves

By Krysta Eaves
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