Guernsey open market activity at 11-year high

Posted: 10/01/2019

Sales activity in the Guernsey open market last year was at its highest level since the financial crisis, according to the latest conveyancing statistics compiled by Unusualities of Guernsey, an independent compiler of local conveyancing statistics.
Figures reveal that there were 75 open market transactions in 2018, compared with 48 in 2017 – the first time since 2010 that more than 50 open market properties have been sold during the course of a year. 

However, this is still some way short of pre-financial crisis levels, when 101 and 96 open market properties were sold in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
Of the 75 open market transactions completed during 2018, the median price (realty only) of the 67 houses sold was £1,256,250, up from £852,125 recorded in 2017. The eight open market flats sold in 2018 had a median price (realty only) of £1,184,063.*
Property perspective

Jason Morgan, head of Carey Olsen's property group in Guernsey, said: "The sales figures for last year should demonstrate that Guernsey remains an attractive destination for new residents. 

"Although there's been some softening of asking prices on the open market, it is encouraging that activity levels have improved so dramatically. If such levels are sustained in 2019 – and there are encouraging signs they will be – that must bode well for an increase in sales prices going forward.
"It is also worth noting that in December 2018 alone, 17 open market houses and flats were sold in Guernsey, which is higher than any monthly total recorded during the buoyant 2006 and 2007 period. 

"This may have been the consequence, in small part, of the anticipated increase in document duty, effected on 1 January 2019. But it's more to do, we believe, with the widely predicted negative impact of an unsatisfactory Brexit outcome and the political upheaval in the UK that's likely to follow."
Local market

On the local market, Unusualities of Guernsey recorded 844 houses and flats sold during 2018, up from 776 in 2017 and the highest yearly total since 2011, when 893 local market transactions took place.
Of those 844 local market sales last year, the median price (realty only) for the 678 houses sold was £433,875, marginally up from the £432,625 for 2017. The median price (realty only) of the 166 local market flats sold in 2018 was £245,700, again marginally up on the £242,025 recorded in the previous year.*
* None of the total sales numbers quoted include inter-family or inter-company sales, transactions, which are typically priced at £1.

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