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Residential property


Despite a challenging economic climate, the residential property market in Guernsey


seems to be bucking the trend by continuing to grow, as Paul Nettleship explains


F


OR YET ANOTHER year, the Guernsey housing market has shown its resilience in the face of turmoil


in other markets throughout the world. And for another year, rather than falling, or even remaining static, house prices have continued to rise. While this makes things particularly difficult for first-time buyers, it is clearly a positive indicator of the economy as a whole. The Guernsey market has historically


been stable and steady. Local Market prices have continued to rise year on year for at least the past 11 years. The same is true of Open Market prices, and there are good reasons for this. Guernsey has a limited land supply and a strong economy, coupled with a high average wage and a strong culture of home ownership. According to the latest Guernsey


Quarterly Residential Property Prices Bulletin (September 2011), the average Local Market house price in Guernsey is £427,025 – an increase of 4.5 per cent since the same time in the previous year. The Open Market is more difficult to measure, given that many transactions take place as share transfers, and so are not included on the public register. However, from the statistics available, the median purchase price is still higher than for the same quarter last year at £1,358,500. Compare these figures with the average


house price in the UK, which according to the Land Registry’s House Price Index


in September 2011 had dropped by 2.6 per cent in a year to £162,109, and the facts speak for themselves – Guernsey remains buoyant.


Positive sentiment This is particularly true when it comes to sales. Based on figures to the end of September 2011, the number of Local Market sales in the year to that date stood at 668, with a total value of £278 million. The previous year, in the same period, there were 648 sales at a total value of £266 million. As Spencer Noyon, Director of Local


Market Sales at Swoffers Estate Agents, says: “As a result of global economic uncertainty there has been a clear increase in investment in residential property, as people remove their savings from bank accounts or get out of the stock market and put their cash into property. As rental returns of 4.5 per cent are not uncommon, and can even reach 5 per cent, bank rates are no longer competitive. This, as well as the fact that demand for rental property continues, means buy-to-lets are keeping the market moving and represent a solid investment.” Despite the generally positive


sentiment, Guernsey has not seen any major new developments in recent years. The residential developments at Admiral Park, Marina Court and Royal Gardens are no longer new developments, and Royal Terrace, which


February/March 2012 PS 13


The new Inheritance Law will abolish ‘forced heirship’ and give people the freedom to leave their property to whomever they choose





PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE STATES OF GUERNSEY


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