/ Author: SPF

In the latest property chat on John Randall’s show, Steve reports that Guernsey Housing Association are using social media to reach out to aspiring first-time buyers about the pros and cons of partial ownership and also to engage with them so that GHA can receive some feedback and learn from it.

In the private sector our MD, Pierre Blampied, reported that the mortgage market was looking healthy and that SPF is very busy, particularly with first-time buyers and buy to let mortgages.

Lloyds have been instrumental in this, with their attractive buy to let rates that were mentioned in the last broadcast. These rates may well have contributed to Lloyds’ current position as the island’s number one house purchasing lender for this year, beating RBS and Skipton. As Pierre said, “Lloyds have lent £24.7 million to the end of May and if you think last year in comparison to last year they had undertaken £15.4 million.” A significant uplift and one which Matt from Cooper Brouard feels is reflected in the market activity.

The most recent statistics indicate that average prices have been creeping up but so too has the number of sales. Both signs of a healthy market and borne out by Matt’s revelation that Cooper Brouard has recently experienced purchasers competing for properties. This hasn’t happened much in the last 7 years and is another indication that we are heading towards a much more balanced market. As Pierre said, “if there is not so much on the market it causes greater urgency and encourages people to buy now instead of waiting around, making it more of a vendor’s market than it has been for some time.”

John asks if it’s an investors market to which Pierre asserts that if someone’s got spare funds, then the new lower buy to let rates are now making property investment an attractive option and appealing to a broader range of people that may not have considered it before. Something which Matt believes also reflects greater confidence in the market generally.

Matt is then questioned about the Open Market and reports positively. Fort Richmond is due to go through court soon, which is great news for Cooper Brouard. He adds “property is selling but I do think the Corbyn effect has been overstated. He is not the sole reason for people to move to Guernsey.” There is interest in the Open Market properties at Havelet and, in another positive sign, the Open Market department at Cooper Brouard are constantly out on viewings to new people who are considering moving to Guernsey.

Interestingly, a lot more cross over in the Local and Open Markets is developing, particularly within the £800,000 to £900,000 price range. For example, Cooper Brouard recently had an offer of £900,000 from a locally qualified person on an Open Market house.

Pierre adds that there is a bit of activity for those looking at the one to two million brackets, but there is a lack of stock with buyers in that bracket unable to find what they require. Steve agrees with Pierre’s point and rounds off by saying that there is a lot of interest in properties but the stock of houses has also come down considerably on the Open Market. “So this should hopefully create a little more pressure on people to make up their minds and be more decisive on purchasing.” This in itself should help the positive market trend continuing throughout the second half of this year and well into 2020.