Wealthy individuals wishing to move to Jersey will now have to pay at least £1.25m for a flat and £2.5m for a house following a re-evaluation of Jersey's high value residency programme.
Previously, the minimum price of a home for those wishing to obtain their ‘entitled’ status as high value residents was £1.75m - a figure set in 2011 which was re-valued this year.
In addition to raising the minimum prices, which aim to keep rich residents out of the island's main residential market, Economic Development Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham said that future applicants will have to show a “minimum level of net worth”.
He made the comments during a Scrutiny hearing with the Economic and International Affairs Panel. Earlier in the hearing, Senator Steve Pallett had asked whether the pandemic had had any impact on the number of applicants to the high-value residency scheme.
Pictured: Senator Lyndon Farnham said there had been 18 applications from high value residents so far this year.
Senator Farnham said there had been 18 applications so far this year, against nine in the same period in 2020. He added that the average had been about 18 over the last 10 years, although he said the numbers tend to fluctuate.
Out of the 18 applications, Senator Farnham said 17 had been approved and that there had been 22 relocations so far this year - some of which would have been approved last year.
“Figures are slightly up I would say this year, there’s been more interest since the pandemic but it’s still, in the context of the population, a relatively small number.”
Senator Farnham said another four or five applications were in the pipeline and that he expected the numbers to hit “the mid-20s or high 20s of approval by the end of the year”, before correcting himself later on and saying he may have been “a little bit optimistic”.
Kevin Lemasney, the Head of High Value Residency Engagement with Locate Jersey, said that, although 2021 had “the strongest start of the year to date”, applications had since slowed down with only two in the last two months.
“I think this is a bit of an exceptional year, I might have been a little bit optimistic with these numbers because it is slowing down a bit as Kevin said, it could be low 20s,” Senator Farnham said. “We’ve had years previously with those sort of numbers and often when you see a high year, then follow a year slightly lower.”
Mr Lemasney explained that the high value residency programme is currently under review, but rejected the view that a limit should be imposed on the annual number of applicants - contrary to what the Chair of the Panel, Deputy David Johnson, had suggested.
“Each one of these new arrivals is bringing a minimum tax of £145,000 per annum - they are really costing us little to nothing. They are providing, in many cases, employment for local people in businesses they bring,” he said.
“We expect that by the end of August we will have breached the £100m in property acquisition for the first time ever; that brings in to the Treasury £7.5m of much-needed income.
"I think if we approach it purely in economic development terms, there are cases not necessarily to increase the number, but certainly not to limit the number.
“On the other hand, I understand the other pressures, political pressures or planning pressures or housing pressure that come to bear. Hopefully the review we do can look at all those aspects.”
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