Moving to Guernsey doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on space or lifestyle.
Guernsey has a two-tier property structure that applies to both rental and sales properties. Generally speaking, the Local Market is available for local residents and employment permit holders, whereas the Open Market is for individuals arriving from the UK or overseas, (subject to visa permissions).
Before starting your property search, it's important to know whether you are eligible for Local or Open Market housing.
Although it’s only 25 square miles, the island’s diverse and stunning landscape means that, whether you’re after a coastal setting or a rural retreat, a change of scene is only a short drive away.
Many are attracted to the hustle and bustle of St Peter Port with its beautiful marina and cosmopolitan buzz. With modern, spacious apartments overlooking the islands of Sark and Herm, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a property with minimal maintenance.
If a more rural family retreat is up your street, parishes such as St Andrew, Castel and Torteval have beautiful rambling cottages nestled in idyllic valleys where more space and a slower pace of life can be found.
St Martin strikes the balance between Town and the Western parishes, offering a unique blend of cosy coastal cottages, period townhouses and tasteful new builds. With its proximity to local amenities, strong sense of community and spectacular cliff top views, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular parishes.
If you’re looking to weigh up your options before you buy, renting is a good option.
Guernsey’s numerous estate agents will be able to show you the latest properties available and you can view properties online before you arrive. Many agents can also send you alerts with new property details.
Whether you’re renting on the Open or Local Market, you’ll need to supply the following documents. Having these to hand will mean you can move quickly to secure your preferred home:
Original photo ID
Utility bill proof of previous address
Name/address of a previous landlord for a reference
Bank account details for a credit check
Date for rental lease to start
Certificate or employment permit online for Local Market rentals
If you’re looking to buy straight away, it’s a good idea to meet with several estate agents to get an idea of the range of properties available on both the Local and Open Market. Locate Guernsey can provide a list of local agents to help you with your search.
The process for buying properties on the island is refreshingly straightforward and comparatively quick. The whole procedure, from instructing your advocate to completion, takes approximately four weeks and contracts can be passed more quickly in urgent cases.
Fees associated with buying a property in Guernsey
The sale price of a property is usually split between the land, including its buildings, and its contents. You’ll also need to budget for the following fees when considering your property purchase.
This is the fee payable to the States of Guernsey that is a percentage of the realty price of the property being purchased. Document duty is payable on all property transactions, unless an exception applies.
It’s important to get a quote from your advisor from the start as these fees are dependent on the complexity of the transaction and property value.
Court and Greffe Fees
On completion day, you’ll need to attend the Royal Court with your advocate before you’re handed the keys to your new property. Conveyancing court charges tend to be in the region of £200.
These are quoted on a case-by-case basis.
Thanks to Guernsey’s low crime rate, insurance costs are pretty low. The island has several insurance specialists who can help with home and contents insurance.
Guernsey doesn’t have a council tax system in place. There is Tax on Real Property (TRP) and parish rates but these are very low compared to rates in the UK.