The average Guernsey local market property price rose almost 12% in 2021, with 5% more properties changing hands. However, rental prices increased by 20% in the same period.
The ‘mix adjusted average purchase price’ for the Local Market properties transacted during the fourth quarter of 2021 was £550,893, 0.6% lower than the previous quarter and 11.7% higher than the fourth quarter of 2020.
There were 235 Local Market transactions during the fourth quarter of 2021, 50 fewer than the previous quarter and 110 fewer than the same quarter of 2020. However, for the whole of 2021, 5% more properties changed hands than in 2020.
The mix adjusted average rental price for Local Market properties was £1,650 per calendar month in the fourth quarter of 2021, 3.2% higher than the previous quarter and 20.0% higher than the fourth quarter of 2020.
Keith Enevoldsen, who leads the residential sales team at Savills Guernsey, said: “The latest States of Guernsey statistics tally with our own experiences. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic – including the most recent Omicron wave and subsequent tightening of restrictions – the island’s property markets have been busy.
“The lifestyle factors that people are looking for have driven consistent demand, particularly in the Open Market. Guernsey, with its stunning coastline and strong sense of community, has remained a very desirable destination.
“In many cases properties have been on the market for a very short period of time, especially those on the Local Market, with a sale agreed in a matter of days. As a result there has been an imbalance between supply and demand, with a real shortage of homes available for people to buy at any given time. This is reflected in the Q4 figures, showing lower Local Market transaction levels than the first half of the year and a minor reduction in value. However, those properties that were available saw fierce competition and many – both on the Local Market and Open Market – sold for in excess of their guide price.
“On the ground we witnessed a number of people relocating to the island because they see Guernsey as a safe place for their families and their wealth, as reflected in the strong Open Market Q4 transaction levels. Many of these buyers are coming from the UK – particularly the south of England – but there has also been a large amount of ‘on island’ movement. Overseas interest has also been strong.
“Looking ahead, there is some uncertainty about how the markets will react as we move into the spring and early summer, but for the moment the market remains buoyant. There is a large pool of highly motivated buyers who are ready, willing and able to move and we are seeing more activity in this early part of the year than we would normally expect.”
Gill Mooney (shown in the main picture), who leads the lettings team at Savills Guernsey, said the States of Guernsey statistics reflected their own experiences. “The annual rental rise of 20 per cent is astonishing, but perhaps not surprising,” she said.
“Monthly rental prices have held a steady upward course and demand remains incredibly high, especially for homes with a garden and more outside space – as reflected in the quarterly findings for three and four bedroom properties.
“These increases have been driven by a lack of stock. Similar to our colleagues in residential sales there have simply not been enough properties on the market to meet people’s needs. As a result properties are being snapped up within a matter of days – often before they come onto the market. It’s therefore more important than ever for potential tenants to register with an agent so that they can be told about properties in advance.
“A lot of people are attracted to the island for its job opportunities – particularly young graduates from the financial sector or professional services who come from all over the world. But there has also been a lot of health workers relocating here from UK.
“Many of the tenants we are seeing are also coming back to the island after growing up in Guernsey and moving away for university and the start of their career. They want to return to the island to raise their family so have moved back looking for rented accommodation until they find somewhere to buy.”