“Swoffers’ own market research suggests that the number of house sales each year has been gradually falling for the last two or three years. We do not expect this trend to change in the short term but what is apparent is that buyers are willing to buy a property at the right price. In this respect, there is a feeling amongst estate agents and lenders that prices are correcting somewhat and this process is likely to continue into 2015. We believe that the average house price figures are being boosted by sales at the top end of the Local Market (with at least nine £1mn + sales in the third quarter), thereby skewing these figures.
Guernsey is not immune to the financial issues that have been well documented over the last few years and while we have weathered the storm well, it would be unrealistic to expect we would be totally sheltered from its impact. There is certainly scope for the number of sales to grow again but this will involve a combination of factors: an increase in bank lending; a realistic attitude to pricing; a certainty regarding future tax strategies (both for locals and people considering Guernsey as a home of choice); a focused strategy regarding the promotion of Guernsey as a home of choice; and the availability of more land for the provision of cheaper first time buyers’ homes, particularly in the rural parishes. We know that the States of Guernsey are working hard on the last three elements especially and it is hoped that this work is concluded as soon as possible, for the benefit of all.”