Jersey will see a drop in demand for larger properties – particularly four-bedroom houses – but faces a shortage of smaller homes, a report has suggested.
Statistics Jersey’s Future Housing Needs report, published yesterday, uses responses given by Islanders in the Jersey Opinions and Lifestyle Survey last year to provide estimates of Jersey’s potential housing requirements for 2023 to 2025.
Not including the supply of new homes, the report estimates a potential shortfall of 1,590 units, primarily one-bedroom flats and one and two-bedroom houses, and an anticipated surplus of 980 – mostly larger – properties.
Housing Minister David Warr said the report ‘confirmed’ that there was a need to keep building, describing the construction of smaller units as ‘the right direction’.
‘A lot of people keep saying we are building rabbit hutches, but we are building communities. When we create these one- and two-bedroom properties – for which there is clearly a demand – we need to ensure we do so with shared space and proper amenities.’
He noted that Environment Minister Jonathan Renouf was currently seeking feedback on draft planning guidance for the delivery of affordable homes on rezoned housing sites across Jersey.
‘Obviously [the demand for housing] relates to the Bridging Island Plan sites, so it’s important that those come through and that we develop the drainage strategy alongside that,’ Deputy Warr continued.
‘The third point is about how we can help in terms of affordability, for example shared equity and things like the Andium Homebuy scheme [where first-time buyers can purchase a home with a deferred payment of up to 25% market value] which is already in place but could be updated and revised. I am determined to consider all of the options for what is a complex matter, so as to not implement the wrong one.’
St Brelade Constable Mike Jackson, who sits on the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel, agreed the data showed a ‘clear’ need for smaller properties.
‘What we are seeing is developers building three- and four-bedroom properties to try to maximise profit, which isn’t necessarily being assimilated by the need in the market,’ he said.
‘I am not blaming developers, but we need that balance [in property types] and planning should make that clear through their policies.’