Guernsey Property Market Review 2021 – Property & Construction


Guernsey: Guernsey Property Market Review 2021

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It’s no secret that the island’s real estate market has seen exceptional activity for 12 months. This reflects a trend that has been seen in markets around the world.

Not only has “on-island” activity been particularly high among first-time buyers, investors, developers and those navigating the rungs of the housing ladder; we have also seen a marked increase in instruction from those settling on the island.

Cut to the chase and dive into the numbers1:

Real estate transactions

2021 saw the highest value of assets passed on at the time these figures were recorded, with nearly £1bn worth of assets changing hands (£966,369,883). This total is more than £230million higher than the last highest year on record, 2020.

As you would expect, this is confirmed by the sustained levels of activity we have seen throughout the year. In 2021, a total of 1,153 arm’s length deals were completed, with local and open markets accounting for 1,026 and 127 of those deals, respectively.

The open market had its busiest year at the time these figures were recorded, with trading volumes at their highest level since 2006 (when 101 trades were recorded going through the contract court).

December saw what is believed to be the most expensive property sale ever in Guernsey, with the open market ‘Normanville’ property changing hands for £15.21million.

Examine local market averages

  • House prices stood at £575,504 for the year, representing a 13% increase on the 2020 average; and

  • The price of the flat was £318,716 for the year, marking a 20% increase on the 2020 average.

Let’s move on to free market averages

  • House prices stood at £1,565,172 for the year, down slightly by 1.5% from the 2020 average (which itself was 26% higher than 2019) ; and

  • The price of the apartment was £1,324,530 for the year, registering a 7% increase on the 2020 average.

Due to the limited stock, the average prices on the open market are subject to greater fluctuations than the local market and large transactions can distort the average.

Ready

  • A total of £720,671,025 was lent against Guernsey property in 2021. It was not until 2007 that more money was secured by bonds (£743,068,118).

  • Lloyds Bank International was the most active lender on the island, loaning a total of £124,486,168 over 343 transactions.

  • Supported by the completion of a number of high-value business transactions, Royal Bank of Scotland International accounted for the highest loan value, at £269,654,813 across 203 transactions.

Interestingly, while the borrowing level is the second highest ever, the actual number of bonds recorded (1,266) is 14and highest, and less than half the highest value of 2002, when 2,616 bonds were registered.

The outlook for 2022

Paul Nettleship, partner and head of Collas Crill’s Guernsey Property team, said: “No one anticipated how the real estate market reacted to the pandemic, not just locally or even nationally, but globally. After the first wave and subsequent lockdown, real estate sales started going up, prices started going up, and it didn’t stop.

Although this may not last forever, I expect prices to stabilize this year, but remain high. While this has provided opportunities for many, it has also highlighted the issues faced by buyers, especially first-time buyers, on the island.

Jason Green, Collas Crill’s Guernsey Property Team Partner, said: “We live in unprecedented times for all sorts of reasons. We are in the midst of a housing crisis in the midst of a booming real estate market.

“Quick action is now required from states to bring all kinds of goods to market, not just affordable housing.

“Policy & Resource’s Property Manager, Deputy Dave Mahoney, has finally presented meaningful plans for how State Properties can contribute to this process. What we cannot do is that some properties get bogged down with red tape, whether in the planning process or otherwise. More than ever before, we need a skillful and coordinated government for a smooth transition from state-owned lands to new approved housing developments. Hats off to MP Mahoney for wanting to make sure states get their fair share of any public-private partnership that works.

Footnote

1. Provided by Insolites de Guernsey

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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