Alderney sees property boom as people buy second homes

GUERNSEY people have been buying up second homes in Alderney, leading to a mini-property boom.

(Picture By Peter Frankland, 29638903)
(Picture By Peter Frankland, 29638903)

About 40 homes have been sold in Alderney in the last two months.

Bell and Co estate agency owner Andrew Eggleston believed demand for Alderney homes will continue to be very strong, in part because of Guernsey’s booming property market.

He said that in a busy Alderney market, currently some 50% of all sales were going to Guernsey buyers, and the split was 60-40 between those seeking a holiday home and those moving to the island permanently.

‘It’s so easy to do that because all you have got to do is just call the income tax office and give them your new address. You need do nothing else at all,’ he said.

Those leaving Guernsey were cashing in on the higher price of property, with average prices topping £500,000, and Alderney’s much cheaper costs – about £250,000 for a three-bed town house – and banking the difference.

Mr Eggleston, who is also president of the Alderney Chamber of Commerce, said the northern isle’s economy was thriving as a result of Guernsey interest during the Covid pandemic.

People who had not visited for decades, or even at all, were rediscovering the island and falling in love with it, particularly its beaches, hotels, restaurants and food.

Demand for property is coming from two other main areas – the UK, as people realise there is no closed market unlike Guernsey or Jersey, plus internal movement in Alderney itself.

Mr Eggleston, who is just starting his 16th year as Chamber president, said the local demand for property was particularly encouraging because it demonstrated confidence in the Alderney economy.

‘People are prepared to borrow and the banks are prepared to lend, which is good. I get more satisfaction from selling to younger [local] couples because they’re committed to the island and that’s great. If both of them are in full-time employment they can normally get up to around £300,000 from the banks and that’s well within the three-bed market,’ he said.

Mr Eggleston said that when he was first elected president there were 30 business members of Chamber on the island and there were now 140.

He estimated that the Chamber represented about 500 people – approximately a quarter of the island’s population. The lockdowns, Covid staycations and people remaining in Alderney over winter instead of seeking the sun elsewhere had all had a positive impact on the island, he said.

‘It has been a super economic enabler.’

The age profile of home buyers – starting from 45-50 – had also helped the island’s older demographic, he said.

n Alderney’s housing stock is approximately 1,600.

There are currently about 100 properties and pieces of land on the market in the island.

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