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Residential Property in Guernsey



States of Guernsey Announce a consultative review of the Housing Law - February 2011

The States have announced a consultative process with the public on managing the Island's population. Options include Temporary Residence Permits issued for up to 7 years, Permanent Resident Certificates issued after 7 years allwoing someone to live in the island permanently and Qualified Resident Certificates issued to those who have lived in the island for more than 14 years. The Open Market is examined but there are no proposals to change it. Appeals would be made to an Appeals Tribunal.  There are unlikely to be any restrictions on locals returning to the island.

Full details can be found by downloading from the government website

Guernsey has an area of just twenty five square miles and with a population of 60,000, not surprisingly land is at a premium. The island is divided into 28,000 parcels of land and there are 49,000 buildings.

Although there are no restrictions on purchasing property in Guernsey, there are restrictions on occupation. The Housing Control Law specifies who may legally occupy property in Guernsey. In any event, any prospective resident must be a citizen of the EC, but other nationals can apply for residency by applying to Immigration and Nationality Department, telephone number (01481) 727926.

Housing Control Law

In the early 1960s, the island established a housing control system as a form of population control. The Law split the housing stock into two markets, Open Market and Local Market. Owners at that time with properties having a certain rateable value or above, had the opportunity to register their property on the Open market. The register however has long since been closed and no new properties can be added to it, unless being built on the site of an existing one.

The Housing Control Law is very complex and guidance can be obtained from the Housing Authority on telephone no. 710631. However in general terms, anyone born in Guernsey and spent at least ten years of their childhood here, will usually qualify for local market status. Anyone buying an Open market property automatically has a right to live here. There are approximately 1,800 Open Market properties on the register and purchase prices range from around £350,000 upwards. Children born of Open market parents, have slightly more stringent requirements to meet, in order to qualify for Local market status in their own right.

Local Market Essential Worker licences are also available to people whose presence here would benefit the island. They are generally issued for terms of up to three years. Occasionally a 15 year licence will be granted for a job which needs someone of high calibre and vital to the island. Such licences are now quite rare as the law stipulates that anyone living legally on the island for 15 years, automatically gains local market status and is no longer tied to a particular job or property. A licence is linked to a particular job and the property to be purchased must have a specified rateable value. 

2009 - Average local market price drops back to £356,250

Despite poor UK  housing data, after strong growth in 2008 when the average local market price hit £389,000, the final quarter of 2009 finished at an average price of £356,250, down just 8.4% year on year. The Open market finished the year on a strong note at £1,012,500, up 6.6%.

Note re the above graphs

Local average means that the top and bottom 2.5% of sale prices recorded in the Greffe have been excluded. This avoids the average local market price being affected by unrepresentative houses (i.e. very high prices and very low prices).

The Open Market average is a simple average of the prices recorded. As there are fewer property sales in this category, and because the figures are not topped and tailed, the open market average tends to be more volatile than the local market average.

See the list of Guernsey Estate Agents


Useful links

Guernsey Legal Resources website

States of Guernsey Latest Housing Figures

Useful contacts

States Housing Authority
Tel: (01481) 710631
States Immigration Dept
Tel: (01481) 727926
Environment Department & Building Control
Tel: (01481) 717200

Buying Property



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