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 http://www.gov.gg/ccm/policy-and-hr/population/managing-guernseys-population.en
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
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
Guernsey Legal Resources website
States of Guernsey Latest Housing Figures
|States Housing Authority
|Tel: (01481) 710631
|States Immigration Dept
|Tel: (01481) 727926
|Environment Department & Building Control
|Tel: (01481) 717200