Just before Christmas, Swoffers – the island’s most experienced estate agents – launched its Big Property Survey, and almost 1,300 people responded. The results are in, and we have a sneak preview for you. In short, Guernsey people love their island, they love their houses, and they really love their cars!
Following the end of the post-Covid property explosion, the last quarter of 2022 saw activity stabilise and us estate agents were able to get back to what we love the best – talking to people and finding the perfect property for our loyal clients. We wanted to get a snapshot of what was making people tick, their likes and dislikes, as well as the things that kept them awake at night. So, we launched our Big Property Survey, which has yielded some interesting results.
It’s heart-warming to note that while many communities yearn for something bigger and better, overall people in Guernsey seem happy with their lot. It appears the grass isn’t always greener, and the island’s charm still holds the hearts of its local population.
The survey was split into three sections – for renters, homeowners and non-islanders – with some questions allowing respondents to highlight their top three answers, and others asking for a single response. Overwhelmingly, islanders said they appreciated the safety and quality of life that we are blessed with in Guernsey; three-quarters of respondents listed these in the top three best things about living on the island. Respondents who took the survey but don’t live in Guernsey said the same. Many were born in Guernsey and had moved away, or had family in Guernsey; almost all wished they could live on the island, or intended to move back at some point.
We didn’t want to be one-sided, so we asked what the worst thing about living in Guernsey was. Unsurprisingly, based on the average house price alone, the cost of living was a concern (77.8%). The cost of getting off the island was also raised as an issue by 84.5% of survey participants. What really struck us was just how appreciative islanders are of their own homes, whatever the size. Faced with the option of choosing the answers: “I love my house”, “I wish my house was bigger, but I can’t afford to move”, and “My house needs an upgrade”, the vast majority (46%) said they loved their home, with 22% saying their house could do with an upgrade and 15% saying they would like more space but were restricted by cost.
In terms of what buyers look for in a new property, it is overwhelmingly a garden and parking, with parking nudging ahead slightly. School catchments were at the bottom of the list, indicating that the island has a spread of good schools. Out of 862 responses to the question: “What is most important to you in a new home?” 618 placed parking in their top 3, with 589 listing the need for a garden and 564 including location.
The biggest dealbreaker, again, was having no parking. 42% of respondents choose no parking as being a barrier to buying a property. Being above budget was in second place (22% said this), while having no garden was third, with 19% of the vote. People are more prepared to go over budget than buy somewhere without parking!
“It appears the grass isn’t always greener, and the island’s charm still holds the hearts of its local population.”
Local homeowners were also questioned on how they look for a new property and the role of estate agents; we were very happy to see that more than half agreed or strongly agreed that Swoffers was the island’s most trusted estate agent.
In terms of finding properties to buy, the island showed its commitment to online activity, with the vast majority saying they would look on estate agents’ websites or social media.
See the full results here.
If you’re looking to relocate to Guernsey, or live in Guernsey and are thinking of moving, get in touch with one of our friendly team.
Call 01481 711766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org