Statisticians are developing a new rental index, collating the average prices of private rental properties on the island. Jersey has not had a rental index since 2012 when a change in the Control of Housing and Work Law meant the States stopped collecting the data.
Preliminary data shows differences in monthly rental prices for entitled and registered properties from bedsits to four-bedroom houses. Figures for Q3 and Q4 2015 range from entitled bedsits at £600 (registered bedsits £690), to entitled four-bedroom houses at £2,500 (registered £2,700).
The data will be available to help organisations work out social housing rents, which are set at 90% of private market rents. Duncan Gibaut, Chief Statistician at the States of Jersey Statistics Unit, said: “We are gathering base line data to turn this into an index like the House Price Index.
“Ministers, and a lot of other people, have been asking us what 90% of private rental market rent is. Losing the rental index in 2012 meant we lost the resource to give this information.
“We had a live rental index for about 10 years but we lost this when changes to the Control of Housing and Work Law meant the data was no longer collected.”
Mr Gibaut and his team in the Statistics Unit are collecting data on rental prices by looking at adverts of properties available for rent. This includes going back over hundreds of properties advertised every month since 2012 to fill in the gaps.
The new index will be mix –adjusted and will show the median advertised rental price (the middle of all prices) rather than the mean, which could be skewed by a few very high priced, or very low priced properties.
Mr Gibaut said: “We tried speaking to letting agents but there wasn’t enough volume going through them to get enough data.
“There would be differences in quality between qualified and non-qualified accommodation, and there will also be big differences in properties in the two-bedroom flat category as an unusually high number of high end luxury flats are rented out.”
Over 53% of properties in Jersey are owner occupied, while social housing makes up a fifth of properties on the island. 60% of houses in Jersey are owner occupied, compared to 40% of flats. For rental properties, 70% are flats, while 30% are houses.
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