- Swen Lorenz - https://www.swen-lorenz.com -

Job done – winding down (for now)

Job done – winding down (for now)
24 June 2021
When I set out to find new residents for the island of Sark last year, I didn’t have the faintest idea what I was about to kick off.

Ten months and over 100 new residents later, I’m still stunned by the level of demand and speed of developments. It’s been quite a journey, it’s taken my life over for a fair number of months – and I even had my proverbial 15 minutes of fame on neighbouring island Guernsey, as you can see!

Guernsey Press 2021 06 11

Download this article in high resolution [1] to read about the new lives of some of the new Sark residents.

It’s heartening to see that my relocation initiative has helped reinvigorate Sark in more ways than one:

  • ≈100 of my clients have paid Sark taxes.
  • Tens of thousands of pounds spent in local shops, restaurants, and other trades.
  • Free publicity for Sark in >40 publications worldwide.
  • Occupancy rates of rental properties are way up.
  • Multiple properties that had been stuck on the market for years have sold.

It definitely provided a spark to get things moving, and it put Sark back on the map.

Ten months and over 100 new residents later, I’m still stunned by the level of demand and speed of developments.

I now have to ask myself where to go from here.

There is currently minimal availability of rental properties on Sark, and it looks like the island’s inventory of “For Sale” properties will also trend towards zero shortly. Given the changes we see in the outside world, the island will likely benefit from continued interest in moving here. There’s 73m (!) people who have the legal right to settle in Sark without any visa – that’s residents of the UK and Ireland.

Now is the perfect moment for me to draw a line, and declare phase 1 of my Sark relocation initiative officially closed.

So, that’s it? What’s next?

It depends.

Sark is loved by its residents for all its wonderful features, but the island’s housing stock isn’t necessarily one of them. Much of the existing housing is in dire condition, there are many derelict and deserted buildings, and not enough affordable housing for essential workers.

I initially started my relocation service with the aim to double Sark’s population of 400 people over a number of years. We are currently at about 550 residents, which is far off the goal of 800. However, there’s simply not enough housing ready to accommodate those extra residents.

There is currently minimal availability of rental properties on Sark, and it looks like the island’s inventory of “For Sale” properties will also trend towards zero shortly

Sark would easily have space for another 100-150 residents without building a single additional house. It still has a lot of derelict, empty, or badly utilised buildings.

Which is why I’m currently mulling over a potential phase 2 of my relocation initiative. Sark needs a push for investment in the island, which would also have to include affordable housing for essential workers. I might create a new programme which combines mobilising investment for the island with help to bring new residents here.

Right now, this is something I am mulling over. No decision has been made. I may yet decide to call it a day altogether, so that I have more time to go fishing and enjoy the island myself.

Has the ship sailed entirely?

Availability of housing is not down to zero yet, but the market is very tight right now. For all the reasons above, I will shortly stop actively marketing this programme until further notice.

If you are still considering whether Sark might be for you, now would probably be your last chance for quite a while: My handbook “How (and why) to move to Sark” [2] remains available for sale (at least for now), at USD 699.

One of my clients called this handbook “the bible”.

If you are still considering whether Sark might be for you, now would probably be your last chance for quite a while.

Alternatively, stay tuned through my website. You never know – there might be news of me launching some kind of investment initiative for Sark!

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Looking for clever ways to invest your hard-earned cash?

Head over to my investment website Undervalued-Shares.com [3] for common sense investment opportunities from around the world. Ideas that you won’t find anywhere else!

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