/ Author: SPF

In their latest Property update on John Randall’s show, Pierre from SPF, Matt from Cooper Brouard and Steve from the GHA all agreed that the market was buoyant, confidence was high and that it was the busiest it’s been for last 10 years. There was a mix of first time buyers and people moving up ladder, on-going developments and Matt indicated that house prices were on the rise, all of which is a good sign for the local economy.

Steve relayed the GHA activity: planned developments – which included a vinery and a site on Baubigny Road; the completion of 16 properties for key workers with another six in August plus flats & accommodation for people with autism in the pipeline.

Matt said that the agency had been very busy with offers on properties and were even seeing people upping offers as more are interested in the same properties. With this in mind he said that second time buyers shouldn’t sit on fence. It’s a good time to buy and they should take advantage of that. He added that some people are being too specific when looking and should bear in mind what the market is doing. He said “Prices have been flat but depleting stock, there has been a bit more heat in the market.” Prices could be about to turn and that puts more pressure on buyers.

Finance was next up and the discussion turned to the fact that getting offers on properties was only part of the job, banks had to agree lend and where properties need work, prospective owners would have to pick their lender carefully.

Pierre reported that the long-term prediction was that interest rates would remain low, which is good for house buyers, but not for savers, and that means that a mortgage is now a more attractive option than renting. He also highlighted that now is a good time to invest in property and suggested that estate agents consider advertising property investment yields to encourage this sector. He added that Guernsey now had a great buy to let product to service this market and that banks are particularly happy to lend on buy to let properties. An example was given of properties on a small clos in Pont Vaillant Lane – which with a 75% mortgage could net £10,000 profit p/a after mortgage costs.

With regards to the mortgage market in general Lloyds Bank are currently No 1 lender in the island with competitive rates across the board and market leader on buy to let.

Turning back to property in general Matt said that the Open Market had a number of good, fresh enquiries. Fort Richmond sale had been concluded after many years and as the cost to develop it will be in excess of purchase price that will be another boost for the island’s economy as will Premier Inn which represents a £35 million investment.

At the other end of the scale the ‘Pizza House’ on Salerie Corner was on the market and was getting lots of viewings. Not too far away from the new Premier Inn it has fantastic views, but space is more of a challenge however someone looked at it with a view to a Airbnb so it could also end up adding to Guernsey’s bedstock!

Click here and head to 1:19:40 to listen to the discussion in full