The Channel Island view
With markets being incredibly active, sellers and especially buyers are having to think carefully about their next move, but also adopt a savvy mindset to master the market. More than ever, knowledge is power.
In a fast-moving market, buyers can help themselves by sorting out their finances first. Assessing how much you have for a deposit, understanding Stamp Duty/government taxes and finding out how much you can borrow will inform your search and help you move quickly when you find the right home.
If you’re thinking of selling, it has never been more important to study the market to appreciate the value of your own home. Whatever you thought it was previously, it has likely increased as the market has seen prices trending upwards since the spring of 2020. The flip side of this is that your property may be underinsured, so it would be wise to get it valued.
At Livingroom we offer free valuations across the Channel Islands. Our team brings more than 200 years of collective experience. Our market knowledge is extensive – when we undertake market appraisals, they are done so with utmost care for the sellers that we represent.
Selling and buying with the same agent can be hugely beneficial in a busy marketplace; as your agent can quickly identify your potential next step on the property ladder, using their knowledge of what you are selling to inform their evaluation. Building open dialogue with your agent will always place you front-and-centre in the agent’s minds and open doors of future homes that may suit. If the relationship is built ‘in-house’ from the sale of a property, then it will be easier for the agent to understand how you live and what your future requirements are.
We have always discreetly sold property that never reaches the public domain, either through our Private Collection or without any form of listing at all. In such a busy market this has intensified, and the amount of property sold ‘off-market’ to known buyers has exponentially increased. Don’t rely on web listings to know what is available, you do need to step forward and discuss your requirements with the teams who will be happy to help you – and hopefully match you to the perfect home behind the scenes.
We’ve heard lots about people wanting more space or room - upsizing from their current homes. What hasn’t been heavily documented is the consequence of releasing these homes for sale. There is a strong market requirement for manageable quality homes that aren’t huge – often with a USP that will excite the downsizers such as a view or difference in location such as nearby shops and eateries. Most want outside space with less maintenance and a minimum of two parking spaces. The more of these high-quality properties that become available or are constructed, the more the market will continue to satisfy demand.
Markets opening up
One of the positives to emerge from the global COVID-19 pandemic is that it has reinforced just how lucky we are to live in the Channel Islands. The islands have remained bastions of relative safety and security, and the confidence in the property markets is a sign of just how content many islanders are with their lifestyles.
But it is not only locals who recognise what fantastic locations the Channel Islands are; now that both domestic and international travel is becoming much easier, off-island viewers are actively returning to step up their searches. We have recently seen a resurgence of London buyers looking at the islands now the London property market has been unlocked and sales of city bases are back on track. We have also seen strong demand from expats living further afield, wanting to return to be closer to UK-based family or friends. The international expat community is relatively small and word has been spreading fast between networks referencing the accessibility and security that the Channel Islands offer.
The more relaxed approach to cross-border travel – here, in the UK, and internationally – has led to an influx of interest in Channel Island property as potential buyers from overseas sell their homes and start to look elsewhere for a different way of life.
Enquiries on Guernsey’s Open Market have been up considerably since the autumn and Locate Guernsey recorded 45 relocations to the island in 2021 – up from 28 in 2020, demonstrating just how popular the island is.
Existing residents have also been buying on the Open Market as there is great value to be had, especially since property prices have been increasing in the Local Market. Open Market homeowners should not be complacent though; buyers’ expectations are high in terms of finish and specification, often informed by the quality of housing stock in other jurisdictions.
What to do in a busy market
There are some simple things you can do to take advantage of the dynamic Guernsey property market:
2022 is shaping up to be another busy year in Guernsey’s property market, make sure you’re ready for it so call the team Livingroom today on +44 1481 715555.