The long term prognosis for Guernsey's housing market remains strong with one expert predicting the open market will continue to outperform the UK prime market over the next five years.
Stuart Leslie, Head of Residential Sales at Savills Guernsey, said there is currently more caution in the local market than a year ago but that is to be expected after a time of prices peaking so high. He expects the market to pick up again shortly.
“It always takes a while for the housing market to warm up at the start of the year, but clearly there is a little more caution than normal," he said.
"Historically Guernsey has been somewhat insulated from any wider political or financial uncertainty – but it is not wholly immune from outside pressures. The rise in the cost of living and increased mortgage rates has meant that buyers have had to reduce their budgets accordingly, while vendors who haven’t needed to sell immediately have decided to sit tight until the spring."
Mr Leslie said that the last two years were exceptional for the local housing market and although sales have slowed, he expects it to pick up again soon.
"Activity is currently more needs based than it was previously – people having to relocate for work or family reasons for example. And – while demand is stronger than we anticipated – buyers do not feel the same urgency that they felt last year or the year before, and are happy to bide their time to find the right home at the right price.
"Consequently, realistic pricing is key to maintaining market momentum. We do expect things to start picking up as we head into the rest of April, May and June. Demand remains robust and we’re not forecasting a substantial drop in house prices."
With regards the open market, Mr Leslie said it continues to be an attractive option for off-island buyers and that will continue to perform positively.
"The lifestyle on offer in Guernsey remains a significant draw for the open market – and there continues to be a core number of committed buyers who are willing to make a move regardless of the market conditions on the local market.
"Long term we still think Guernsey will outperform the UK prime market over the next five years.”
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