Navigating the turbulent housing market

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By Julian Woodcock, head of lending for Butterfield in Jersey

AT Butterfield, as a local bank, we know there are many issues both within our own island and internationally that will be of concern to clients but a consistently important one is the status of the local housing market and how it is functioning.

Over the past few years, there has been a staggering amount of change in the economy and in the behaviour of buyers and sellers, which can make dipping a toe into property ownership a daunting prospect.

At Butterfield, where we are currently celebrating our 50th year in the Channel Islands, we have expanded our services to encompass mortgages and savings for local clients. Our dedicated Island-based team understands the local market and challenges Jersey house buyers face. As such, we wanted to take this opportunity to lay out some of the ways in which we can help.

Following a turbulent time for the UK markets in the autumn of 2022, the market is still taking time to right itself and inflation is not slowing as quickly as anticipated, meaning we are likely to see more rises in interest rates during 2023. An increase in interest rates means that many people are experiencing a step up in the rates they pay on their mortgages. While they might still be affordable, they nonetheless require some adjustment compared to the previous period of low-cost credit.

Overnight, it seems, we have gone from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ one. There are more houses on the market in Jersey today than we have seen in the past ten to 14 years, giving buyers more options to choose from. This is compounded by recent policy changes from the government which will see the introduction of a higher level of taxation on second properties, affecting the buy-to-let market.

In many cases, there is a gulf between sellers’ expectations of the price they should be able to secure for their property and buyers’ willingness to meet those prices. Many buyers are instead choosing to hold out longer for the right place and price, which means that negotiation on both sides is now more crucial than ever. Even with the greater need for flexibility on both sides, we anticipate that many sellers will choose to stay put for now and instead invest in home improvements.

Butterfield has good news, though, for those looking to purchase a property. We understand the importance of making it possible for people to borrow while remaining responsible and we are conscious of how quickly the economy can change. Our solution to this is to continually review our policies and products to match market requirements. As such, we have made a number of amendments to our lending criteria to ensure our policy is relevant to Jersey buyers.

With a wide range of residential mortgages on offer, new clients can currently benefit from the waiving of our standard arrangement fee* – something that we know is a concern to a number of new buyers. That is a savings of £999 on our Capital and Interest Fixed Rate, Two-Year Base Rate Tracker and Standard Base Rate Tracker mortgages. In addition, we offer a range of buy-to-let and lifestyle mortgages, meaning there is an option for every prospective homeowner in Jersey. And for existing homeowners, the bank also offers remortgaging options.

Our friendly Island-based experts are on-hand to offer support in relation to our extensive suite of products designed to meet almost every mortgage need.  A streamlined application process for Islanders (which can be completed online) means that all lending decisions are made locally rather than overseas, meaning you’ll be working with someone who understands the intricacies of the local market and will process any application quickly.

We have a strong local team comprising of three dedicated lending specialists, Milton Freitas, Jamie Clayton and Shannon Carr, all of whom are professional qualified. We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional client service, ensuring our clients are receiving the attention and care they deserve. A recent client survey showed that 96% of our customers** are either very likely or likely to recommend us to a friend or colleague.

For Islanders who are looking to buy a house soon but are not quite there yet, Butterfield also offers a number of savings solutions for residents. These solutions include notice accounts, fixed-term deposits and our increasingly popular Island Saver Instant Access account. Clients who open an Island Saver account (with a minimum deposit of £25,000) enjoy competitive interest rates and access to their funds at any time with no penalty. To support demand for these products, we have strengthened our Island-based personal savings team with the appointment of Seb Poole, who joins Rachel Lishman, as a relationship manager.

More information on mortgages, savings products and other services with Butterfield can be found on the bank’s website at For those keen to find out more, Butterfield invites Jersey residents to call 843 300 or to email

*Limited time only

**Source: Butterfield Channel Islands Mortgages Client Satisfaction Survey February 2023.

Butterfield Bank (Jersey) Ltd (BBJL) is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission to conduct deposit-taking business under the Banking Business (Jersey) Law 1991 (as amended), and investment business, fund service business and money service business pursuant to the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998, (as amended). BBJL is registered under the Data Protection (Jersey) Law, 2018 and is registered with the Jersey Registrar of Companies for the purpose of the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991 (as amended). Registered office address: St Paul’s Gate, New Street, St Helier, Jersey JE4 5PU. Company registration number 124784. BBJL is a participant in the Jersey Bank Depositors Compensation Scheme. The scheme offers protection for eligible deposits of up to £50,000. The maximum total amount of compensation is capped at £100,000,000 in any five-year period. Full details of the scheme and banking groups covered are available on the States of Jersey website at or on request. Terms and conditions can be obtained from our website and copies of the latest audited accounts are available on request. BBJL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Ltd.

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