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 Guernsey is recovering 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 leisure, and that is, anecdotally, a good sign that faith in Guernsey’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 housing projects, co-working office spaces and new recreational facilities, to name just a few. What we are seeing is an appetite to create premium spaces for a broad range of buyers and tenants 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 Harlyn Holdings Limited in its acquisition funding for the redevelopment of Rock Health Guernsey, formerly known as Island Bowl – an iconic, if tired Guernsey venue. We have developed a strong partnership with Harlyn’s senior management team from acquisition to fit out of the building, which will be the Island’s first multi-use fitness centre.
The pandemic has obviously unsettled the market, but Rock Health is perhaps a beacon that the appetite for investment in new developments is still healthy 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.
We have also worked closely with Harlyn’s sister company, Field Day Developments on their exciting projects at Royal Terrace, Mill Court and Windsor House, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the work we are currently involved with.
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: Scott Philpott, Corporate & Family Office at Investec Bank (Channel Islands) Limited, Guernsey
*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.