Relocating to Guernsey – Top Five Questions


Our Open Market Team have a wealth of experience in helping individuals and families relocate to Guernsey. With this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to round up the top 5 questions we get asked on this topic.

What is the crime rate like?

We live in a very safe environment where the crime rate is minimal compared to other parts of the world. Many of our clients who move to Guernsey are amazed at how safe it is! Its the perfect environment for bringing up children in a friendly and welcoming community.

What about Guernsey’s taxation system?

Our tax system is not complicated and we have a low tax regime – 20% income tax, no Inheritance Tax, no Death Duties, no Capital Gains Taxes and no VAT. Apart from our normal tax regime, Guernsey offers two further taxations according to residence status:

Resident Only
This taxation is for HNWI’s who are resident but not solely or principally resident in Guernsey .- They can elect to pay a ‘standard charge’ of £30,000 per annum.

Solely or Principally Resident
The other taxation is for solely or principally resident individuals in Guernsey and taxable on worldwide income or foreign income; this taxation is capped for HNWIs. You can elect for either just foreign income capped at £110,000 per annum (Foreign sourced income only) or worldwide income capped at £220,000 per annum (Foreign and Guernsey sourced income).

Is there Stamp Duty and what are the costs associated with buying property?

There is a government duty which is similar to stamp duty called Document Duty; this starts at 2% and slides upwards to 3.75%, up to £1,000,000, and thereafter it’s a flat 4% on the difference of any amount over £1,000,000. Other costs to consider are Advocate’s (Lawyer’s) fees, which are a percentage of the purchase price, which are no more than 0.75%. Survey costs are quoted on a case by case basis.

Is it like living in a village in the UK?

Guernsey is certainly not a village or even a market town; we are a thriving world class financial centre with a population of over 60,000 residents. St Peter Port is our “business district” and we have fabulous wine bars, restaurants, hotels, sporting facilities, boutique and major branded retailers and supermarkets all at our finger tips. There are many activities to get involved with, from sports to boating to aviation, right through to vintage car clubs and many others. We believe Guernsey offers a wonderful lifestyle with a healthy pace of life.

Can anyone buy in Guernsey and is it complicated?

We have a dual housing market, one for locals (The Local Market) and employment permit holders and the other (The Open Market) for anyone wishing to come and live and work in Guernsey. Our Open Market housing system is unique and aims to attract individuals, families and businesses to relocate to Guernsey. If you are a UK or EU passport holder you are able to buy or rent in Guernsey; if not you simply need to get immigration clearance, which falls under UK immigration. It is a really very straight forward and simple process to buy or rent in Guernsey compared with other jurisdictions.

To learn more about relocating to Guernsey, please contact our Open Market team on +44 (0) 1481 711766 or email

Mortgage Calculator


Document Duty
Monthly Repayments
(Additional Residence Duty* )
You also need to factor in legal fees, court, Greffe, registration and bond fees which are variable depending on the size, nature and complexity of the purchase. *Properties purchased that are not utilised as a primary residence will incur an additional 2% document duty.

To find out more about a Swoffers Mortgage,
please call us today on 01481 711766

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