Local removals businesses been overwhelmed by the number of islanders leaving Jersey as house prices and cost of living issues bite harder and harder, according to one company Director.
Good Moves’ Mike Philips said the flow of islanders leaving Jersey “just hasn’t stopped since the initial lockdown in 2020.”
While he noticed a lot of people were moving to the island pre-pandemic, he now says that the traffic has reversed, with more people leaving than coming in.
Good Moves deals with a number of individuals relocating to the UK for various reasons, and across the spectrum of wealth.
However, Mr Phillips says that he has recently noticed that the vast majority of relocations are “middle class families who cannot afford properties in Jersey which suit their requirements”.
He said: “For these sorts of people, it just makes more financial sense to relocate to the UK where they can get more for their money”.
From conversations with clients, Mr Phillips explained that it is undoubtably the rising house prices and cost of living which is driving people away from the island.
Pictured: "It just makes more financial sense to relocate to the UK where people can get more for their money”.
“In the UK, there is much more to do, and everything is just much better value for money.
“While it can be emotionally difficult to leave, people are starting to think with their heads rather than their hearts”.
Speaking from personal experience, he added: “Even as a Jersey boy, I’ve been in the same boat in thinking of leaving.
"My business keeps me here, but it’s incredibly hard not being able to get on the property ladder as a family of five.
“We are lucky to have other family members here to help us, but it just feels like every time we get close to being able to afford somewhere, the house prices increase again.”
Although the majority of people leaving Jersey appear to be those at the middle of the spectrum of wealth, Mr Phillips said he has also noted an increase in high-net-worth individuals leaving the island.
He says that this seems to be due to these individuals feeling as though they have limited options due to the rules and restrictions imposed on them.
Mr Philips asks: “Why are we driving them away when they are investing in the local economy? But even they see no financial incentive to stay in Jersey.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Mr Phillips explained that he knows of many low-income islanders who want to leave Jersey but can’t afford to due to high shipping costs and rising fuel prices.
He added that it is also difficult to leave without the capital to buy a house in the UK due to the nature of the rental market there.
“People are stuck, they’re literally trapped here,” he said. “So many people would love to leave but simply can’t even consider it because of the prices.”
Pictured: High shipping costs and rising fuel prices mean that many people can't even afford to relocate.
Good Moves has had to increase its prices twice since the pandemic.
Mr Phillips said this is something that he says they are “reluctant to do”, but that “it is simply impossible to carry on with the same prices when everything is getting more and more expensive".
He explained: “For example, the price of carboard boxes has been increasing 15% a month every month for almost a year, and pallets are getting increasingly more expensive now too.
“We always try and look at cheaper options for our clients, but it just seems impossible to find any nowadays.”
Although Mr Phillips’ company only deals with UK relocations, he has also heard about many people leaving Jersey to live further afield, such as to Portugal or Poland.
He said: "It is a shame that we are driving people away from Jersey, but it is completely understandable when you look at the cost of living here compared to elsewhere."
Looking towards the upcoming local election, he added: "Our island is broken, but we can't fix it without the right people in charge to help and advise."
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