Locate Guernsey claims open market success

HALF of open market house sales made in September were sold to people moving to the island through the services of Locate Guernsey.

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The purchases of seven out of 15 open market sales completed during the month raised more than £700,000 in document duty, more than the annual budget of the States-funded operation.

‘It’s been an astonishing year to date, and we’ve made great progress. With the pandemic, relocating has been more complicated than it historically has been,’ said Richard Bellis, relationship manager at Locate Guernsey.

‘It has become more attractive here, especially for internationally mobile clients.

‘If you’re sitting in South Africa or the Far East and look at Guernsey, you can really see the security and safety of our island. Guernsey has everything the UK has to offer but it is safer, we take it for granted. We’re clearly doing something that resonates with clients.’

The island has also jumped from tenth to fifth place in new rankings for the best places to live and work for expats. The results of the HSBC Expat Survey show that Guernsey now ranks ahead of Jersey and the Isle of Man.

The findings also suggested that expats are now prioritising personal lifestyle choices rather than traditional relocation drivers such as career progression (34%) or expanding their professional network (31%).

‘As an expat living in Jersey and working across the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, I know how beautiful and stable the islands are and so I’m not surprised to see each of them ranking in the top 10 places to live and work,’ said Cameron Senior, interim head of HSBC Expat.

Mr Bellis said the demographics of new relocations to Guernsey had changed.

‘It used to be people looking towards retirement coming here to wind down,’ said Mr Bellis. ‘Now the demographic of people relocating is younger, people are leaving their businesses sooner, and we’re seeing a few serial entrepreneurs.’

People who had recently relocated to the island were invited to an event at the Old Government House hotel for an opportunity to network and meet other people who were new to the island.

‘We had three pregnant women there, and that’s the first time we’ve ever had that,’ Mr Bellis said.

Locate Guernsey acts as a point of contact within the States of Guernsey to co-ordinate and assist with business and personal relocation enquiries.

The open housing market is on track to break recent records for the number of sales.

For the nine months to the end of September, there were 91, which excludes sales between families and companies which tend to cost less than £10.

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