This recent optimism is borne out by the levels of activity currently being experienced by Swoffers, who have traditionally dominated the Open Market in the island, and confirms the message from the States of Guernsey’s Economic Development president Deputy Charles Parkinson, who underlined the important role that Locate Guernsey has played in bringing new residents and businesses to the island.
‘It is clear that the message is getting through,’ said Swoffers director Craig Whitman, who heads up the experienced Open Market team. ‘There is a degree of uncertainty in the UK and Guernsey stands to benefit from that as potential residents look to explore all options.
‘The island is proving very attractive at this time,’ he added. ‘We have had an increased number of enquiries and we have now seen this initial interest turn into agreed deals.’
Swoffers were responsible for half of all Open Market sales in 2017 and enjoyed a busy end to the year, including the sale of Woodlands, a substantial country estate at more than £6.5million.
In the first two months of this year the activity levels have remained very high which have resulted in many agreed sales and also a steady flow of potential new residents seeing what the island has to offer.
Deputy Parkinson put the recent surge in interest in people moving here down to a concern over Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the potential of a Labour government.
‘We have always tried to focus on what is so great about our island and there have always been very many reasons why living here is so appealing, added Mr Whitman. What is happening in the UK is just another rationale for why people are considering Guernsey. We are very fortunate to have a unique way of life.’
Of particular note also has been the hectic nature of Open Market rentals and Swoffers has enjoyed the busiest two months on record in this sector.
Swoffers has agreed rentals contracts on 14 open market properties in the last six weeks alone.
‘It is a very lively time,’ said Open Market Lettings negotiator Sue Nicolle. ‘The pleasing aspect for this sector is that half of the deals being agreed are with people who are new to the island.
‘They will sample what Guernsey has to offer and experience first-hand what a wonderful island we live in. For some this will mean a permanent move which can only be positive for the island’s economy and also the long-term future of the Open Market.’