Over the past 12 years, the average age of incoming residents Guernsey has dramatically dropped. What was once a sleepy back-water with a reputation for attracting rich retirees from Britain escaping a Capital Gains liability or the future burden of death duties, is undergoing something of a re-brand. Young, entrepreneurial and family friendly is the message that’s rapidly overcoming the once headline-heavy tax-friendly enticements.
‘There’s been a massive resurgence of interest in Guernsey,’ explains Simon Torode, a Guernsey-born, former advertising creative who lived all over the world before coming home and setting up the boutique agency, Living Room. ‘There are lots more people coming to the island, looking at properties and coming on tours with us. But it’s not just that-the variety of people coming to the island has also broadened.’
Shauna Clapham, a director of Swoffers, says the lifestyle is now as big a draw as the benevolent tax regime. ‘As more people come to the island, their perceptions are being radically changed. ‘I don’t think it’s a demographic shift per se, but it’s a fact that there’s a very vibrant young community living here.
We now have plenty of locals who’ve done their stint in London or New York, but now have a family and are returning to the island to take advantage of all it has to offer: you can still do City business here, but with an island lifestyle.’ She cites a recent conversation with a banker, who had just moved his family to the island. ‘He can now dash out and see his son in the school play because it’s a five-minute drive away-impossible in his former life.’
Running on the beach before work, traffic jams that last no more than 10 minutes and evening boat trips to restaurants around the island certainly paint a beguiling picture for harassed financial directors looking for an escape route from the Square Mile.
* For more property stories like this every week, subscribe and save