Nov. 19, 2012
-- Average property prices in Guernsey moved ahead by 4.3% in the third quarter of 2012 compared to their level one year previously, according to data released today by the States of Guernsey.
Compared to the position at the end of June, prices rose by a steady 1.2%, according to the same data. These rises continue a stable but gently upward trend in values which has been a feature of the market now for the last 10 years, making housing one of the better long term investments for both homeowners and buy to let landlords alike.
The average mix adjusted price of properties sold, including any fixtures and fittings, now stands at £445,326, up from £439,861 at the end of June 2012. Within the overall range of properties sold, the most notable pattern was a jump in demand for 3 bed bungalows, whilst demand for 3 bed houses fell back. The number of 1 bed apartments sold halved. Other categories were broadly unchanged over the period.
There was a slight drop in overall activity as measured by the number of sales, both against the same quarter last year and against the second quarter of 2012. The total number of sales during the quarter was 207, against 232 at the end of June and 219 for the same three months last year. Bungalows and house sales represent some 64% of the market, with 3 bed dwellings remaining the most popular choice
In price terms, the market recorded a noticeable jump in those purchasing in the £600,000 to £999,999 category, where the number of sales jumped for 26 to 39, whilst those over £1 million dropped back from 12 to 8.
Commenting on the latest Guernsey housing data, Nigel Pascoe, Director of Lending for Skipton International, the Guernsey and Jersey mortgage specialists said, “Theses figures are very encouraging, continuing as they do a gentle and reassuring growth in values. It is significant that buyers are now feeling much more confident about the long term prospects for the market. The most obvious evidence of this is the big jump in those committing larger sums to their house purchase as evidenced by the growth in the £600k - £1 million category.”
In the UK as a whole, according to the UK Land Registry, over the year to September 2012, prices rose by just 1.1% compared to Guernsey’s figure of 4.3%. London continues to offer a strong annual growth performance at 5.5%, but on a monthly basis overall for August, prices declined by 0.3%. Regionally, outside of London, only the South East and East are showing any significant price growth, although the South West did manage to record a positive figure of 0.1% for August and 0.9% for the year to September.
Nigel Pascoe ends, “With the exception of a short term dip in 2009 which coincided with wider global economic issues, Guernsey house prices have demonstrated a slow and gentle growth over time. This gradual pattern is encouraging as it suggests the growth is both robust and sustainable. From a house buyer’s point of view though, this might lead some to think that getting on the ladder for first time buyers could become harder – at Skipton International, we have addressed this and responded with products such as our Next Generation Mortgage, which has been popular with customers with smaller deposits, as it helps buyers build their deposit by allowing a guarantor to contribute up to 15% of the purchase price.”