It seems wherever you go at the moment there is scaffolding.
That’s a good sign, because the construction industry, a barometer for the health of the economy, is clearly enjoying a resurgence. That may be in part a result of people redeploying funds set aside for foreign travel to refurbish their properties, or perhaps to create additional space as more of us consider working from home, at least for some of the time, but I also think it is a sign of confidence among developers and investors that Jersey will recover well from this pandemic.
Look closer and you will see it is not just residential works that are being undertaken. There is a diversity of projects in progress, from residential to commercial and that is, anecdotally, a good sign that faith in Jersey’s underlying economy is strong.
Estate agents too are reporting one of their busiest years, despite the pandemic and prices have remained stable to positive. As the Channel Islands’ top Private Bank lender* in 2020 we can attest to the vibrancy of the sector, the confidence of developers and investors and the demand in the market for high quality projects.
In the last year we have worked with a number of clients to fund a broad range of projects. What we are seeing is an appetite to create premium spaces from entrepreneurs and seasoned developers alike.
Our structured approach to lending suits this dynamic marketplace: we are nimble, flexible and solutions-based, focused on what the client is trying to achieve and helping them to bring their plans to fruition**.
A good example of this is our support for Columbia Group, who we have a longstanding relationship with. We have recently delivered structured ‘development to investment’ finance to support Columbia’s conversion and extension of office space on La Motte Street into residential accommodation. This exciting development, which will create 27 one and two-bedroom apartments, completes this summer.
This development is indicative of the healthy appetite for investment in new developments and, as we inexorably pull ourselves free of the virus and its restrictions, that there are solid foundations on which to build more innovative and exciting projects in the months to come.
At Investec Bank (Channel Islands) Limited we have the international experience and the local knowledge to continue to support professional developers with their projects, no matter how big or small. The key to success is creating a strong, collaborative relationship where we all understand the objectives and share common goals.
Author: Steve O’Regan, Corporate & Family Office at Investec Bank (Channel Islands) Limited, Jersey
*By number and value of deals completed in both Guernsey and Jersey in 2020, excluding Share Transfer transactions. Compiled using data from Unusualities of Guernsey, and Jersey Registration Documents issued by the Royal Court of Jersey.
**Applications are subject to status and availability. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage.