Wealthy immigrants are set to be asked to fork out more for a property in return for the opportunity to make their home in Jersey, Express has learned.
Under the current high value residency scheme run by Locate Jersey, ‘2(1E)’ residents (previously known as ’1(1k)s’) must buy either an apartment at a minimum value of £900,000 or a house price at £1.75 million to qualify for the right to live locally.
But the Housing and Work Advisory Group (HAWAG) – a panel including the Chief Minister, Housing Minister, and Economic Development Minister – is now on track to up prices.
The values were set when the current programme was implemented in 2011, and haven’t kept step with inflation since then – unlike the prescribed minimum tax contribution of £145,000, which will be subject to a potential inflationary rise in 2023.
Pictured: The current purchase price for a home is set at £1.75 million for newcomers to Jersey under the high-value residency scheme.
Had the property prices increased in line with the rising cost of living locally, wealthy newcomers would have to pay a minimum of £1.1 million for an apartment and £2.2 million for a house.
Estate agents were recently consulted on their views by Locate Jersey.
Broadlands Director Harry Trower told Express the industry’s feelings on the move were generally positive.
“The consensus is that it’s going to be raised. People moving here [under the high-value residency scheme] are not so concerned about price,” he said, explaining that they are generally willing to pay for the quality of life and other benefits of living locally.
Mr Trower noted that some sellers may feel “disgruntled” about the idea, but that it shouldn’t dent demand within that price bracket because such homes fall within the “upper reach of the local market”.
Pictured: Estate agent Harry Trower welcomed the idea of upping the minimum property price. (Gary Grimshaw)
He added that he felt the move would be “good for the island” due to the benefit of the extra stamp duty that could be collected, but noted that there should be a “bleed-in period” to allow the industry to adapt.
Locate Jersey Director Kevin Lemasney said he hoped for a decision, and a roll-out timetable for the increase, by the end of this quarter.
He commented: “The final amount will be decided… by the members of HAWAG, but, by way of an indication, £1,750,000 in 2012 would now be somewhere in the region of £2,200,000.
“At present we estimate that there are over 400 properties on the market above the present minimum level.”
Pictured: The new minimum for a house is likely to be set at £2.2 million.
Chair of HAWAG, Economic Development Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham, commented: “We will be reviewing the policy but no decision has been made yet.”
The most recent figures on high-value residents show that there are now 166 settled on the island, who generated a total tax revenue of around £13.4 million in 2018.
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.