Brexit worries push open market house sales to 11-year high
UNCERTAINTY over Brexit and concern about a possible change of UK government are thought to be partially responsible for open market sales hitting an 11-year high in 2018.
This marked the best year in the market since the financial crisis, according to the latest figures from Unusualities of Guernsey, an independent compiler of local conveyancing statistics.
There were 75 OM transactions last year, compared with just 48 in 2017. That was the first time since 2010 that more than 50 OM properties were sold in a year.
Of the 75 transactions, the median price (realty only) of the 67 houses sold was £1,256,250 – compared with £852,125 the year before.
The eight OM flats sold in 2018 had a median price (realty only) of £1,184,063.
‘There has been much attention given to the fortunes of Guernsey’s open market in recent times, but the sales figures for last year should demonstrate that Guernsey remains an attractive destination for new residents,’ said Carey Olsen property group head Advocate Jason Morgan.
‘Although there has been some softening of asking prices on the open market, it is encouraging that activity levels have improved so dramatically.
‘If such levels are sustained in 2019, which there are encouraging signs that they will be, that must bode well for an increase in sales prices going forward.’
Part of the increase in sales, particularly towards the end of the year, could have been due to the anticipated rise in document duty, which came into effect on 1 January, he said, ‘but more to do, we believe, with the widely predicted negative impact of an unsatisfactory Brexit outcome and in particular the political upheaval in the UK that is likely to follow it.’
. In the local market, 844 houses and flats were sold during 2018, up from 776 in 2017 and the highest yearly total since 2011 when 893 local market transactions took place.
Of those sales, the median price (realty only) for the 678 houses was £433,875, marginally up from the £432,625 for 2017, while the median price (realty only) of the 166 flats sold was £245,700, again marginally up on the £242,025 recorded in the previous year.
. None of the total sales numbers quoted included inter-family or inter-company sales transactions, which are typically priced at £1.