Sark is an ideal getaway nestled in the Channel Islands just off the coast of England and France. Although it’s one of the smaller islands, the charm, and draw of a simple life continue to bring thousands of tourists to this island every day. The scenery and simplicity leave many wondering about the possibility of abandoning their busy life. With a recent change in property laws, the dream of buying a property on Sark is becoming more of a reality.
Who Can Buy Property in Sark?
Buying property in Sark if you’re not a local can be challenging. Property sales are available to residents of the UK and only became available as recently as 2020. Residents were restricted to only leasing their lands from the current landowners. Now, people are able to purchase their properties and take out a mortgage.
Sark is a part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, and the process of buying a property involves the local market and the open market. The local market is only available to those who have been born on Sark or have lived on the island for at least 15 years. You can also be eligible to buy in the local market if you have a close relative who meets those qualifications. The open market properties are open for any to live in, regardless of residential status on Sark.
A life of seclusion may not be a permanent choice, but if you have the freedom to work remotely or want to take some extended time away, there are a number of long-term rental properties available on Sark that you can invest in for your stay. If you want to move to Sark, unless you are a British or Irish citizen or have an EU, EEA, or Swiss passport, you will have to apply for a visa. Trying to move to Sark is much easier than trying to relocate to any other country in the world.
Buying property on Sark was more of a challenge up until a few years ago when the laws changed. Sark was originally divided into 40 tenements by the people who first arrived on the island. The tenements allowed properties on the island to only be purchased by leasehold. The leases within these agreements could last anywhere from 1 to 150 years.
While some tenements remain and homes are still purchased under leasehold, properties become available that have been separated from the tenements allowing residents to purchase. With such a small population, there are always several properties on the island available to rent or buy on Sark.
The Campaign to Grow the Population
In 2020, Swen Lorenz created the Sark Society with the primary goal of increasing the population of Sark to 800 or 1,000 residents. At the time, the population of Sark was beginning to dwindle and was sitting at around 450 people. Lorenz, with the financial backing of the current Seigneur of Sark, has advertised the island as an ideal way of life, free of many of the tax burdens that people on the mainland have to deal with regularly.
Today the population has risen thanks to the efforts to around 600 people. With the hopes of growing the population, there will be a high demand for more properties to be built throughout the land. There are always properties available to rent or buy on Sark but with the loft goals of the Sark Society, building or renovating current properties to house the newcomers is essential.
Why Should Anyone Move to Sark
Buying property on Sark might be challenging but renting is always an option if you want to start a new life on the charming island of Sark. With the campaign to increase the population, the appeal of moving to Sark provides you with living among dreamy landscapes, stunning beaches, and a welcoming group of locals.
Life on the island is peaceful, even on the busiest days of summer. There are no cars, no busy streets, no big cities, and the population is relatively small. Getting around can be done by walking, cycling, or by tractor or horsedrawn carriage.
In addition to Sark’s beauty and charm, residents enjoy minimal taxes, including no income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, and VAT. You’ll never need to disclose your income or assets, and the taxes are only assessed based on the size of the property you choose to buy or rent.
Investing in Holiday Homes on Sark
Tourism is the main industry on Sark in which the economy thrives. The thousands of people who visit Sark annually help to generate much of the island’s income. During the summer season, the population on the island can more than double, including the visitors staying on the island who come in search of peaceful surroundings and incredible views away from city life.
Purchasing a property to rent out for a holiday home can be a great investment, but if you don’t live on the island, the operating costs can skyrocket. If you want to invest in a property to allow guests to stay during their holiday, you’ll want to ensure you plan on staying during at least the busy season to take care of the property and your guests.
Sark is a friendly, welcoming, and peaceful island that anyone would be lucky to call home. Whether it’s a temporary rental or purchasing a home, you can enjoy the simple, charming life that exists on the quaint island of Sark.