Government and businesses alike have long acknowledged and bemoaned the exit from the Island of our young adults. Put at its most basic, our young adults simply cannot afford to live independently in Jersey. This fact is well known. Yet little, if any, discernible headway has been made to tackle this issue. With property prices continuing to rise out of step with earnings, this problem will inevitably worsen.
Case studies (names have been changed): Anthony and Tania grew up and were educated in Jersey. Both are 24, are graduates with postgraduate qualifications, who have found well paid graduate jobs in Jersey. They explained, ‘we are going to move to the UK. Although, we are likely to earn about 15% less in the UK, house prices and cost of living is so much cheaper. We can buy a three bedroom semi-detached property with garden and parking in a good area for 70% of the price of a one bedroom flat with no parking or garden in Jersey.’
George, a 25 year old graduate, earns £19,500 in Jersey. ‘I can’t afford to move out of home, as I can’t afford the rent and bills and have any quality of life. I am planning on moving to the UK in the next two years. The salary for my job is about the same as here, but the rent and living expenses are so much lower. I also want to pursue a career in psychology (which is my degree), but there are few opportunities to do so in Jersey.’
The average price for a one bedroom flat is £325,000, £491,000 for a two bedroom flat and £550,000 for a two bedroom house. (Source: Statistics Jersey House Price Index Q3 2021) The ‘affordable’ housing offered by organisations such as Andium fares little better with one bedroom apartments starting at over £280,000. Even for our graduates in the higher paying finance industry jobs, these prices are unreachable.
The picture is no brighter when it comes to rent. The listed prices for a small one bedroom apartment with no garden or parking is a little over £1,000 per month with prices rising above £1,250 per month for a bigger one bedroom apartment or one with parking. If you add on the monthly cost of living for an individual (excluding rent) of £843.80 per month (Source: http://www.numbeo.com), the annual cost is upwards of £22,125 per annum. Many of our young adults simply do not net that kind of salary.
Young adults who work full time paying taxes and social security and earn the minimum wage and above are not eligible for any form of supplemental income support, even though they cannot afford to live independently.
We would like to see manifestos outline their plans for tackling the housing crisis facing young adults in Jersey to enable them to afford the dignity of independent living.