Definition of first time buyer
A first time buyer is a potential home buyer who has never owned property before.
First time buyer properties are designed to help people move on to the housing ladder. If you own a first time buyer property, you must occupy that property as your principal residence.
If the property you’re buying is under £500,000, you’ll pay a reduced amount of stamp duty.
First time buyer developments
Being a first time buyer means that you can buy a home on a specially designated first time buyer development. These homes are advertised by local estate agents and are only sold to people who are first time buyers.
Affordable housing schemes
Being a first time buyer also means you can apply to purchase a home through the affordable housing purchase scheme. This means you can buy a home through schemes offered by various housing providers.
Affordable housing purchase schemes
Who qualifies as a first time buyer
You’re a first time buyer if you:
- have never owned or had an interest in any residential property on your own or with someone else anywhere in the world
- have Entitled residential status or plan to buy the property with an Entitled spouse or civil partner who has also never owned a residential property anywhere in the world
- are going to live in the property as your principal place of residence
Residential statuses and what they mean
Find further details in the first time buyer policy guidance to understand if you’re eligible to buy and occupy a first time buyer property in Jersey and the required due diligence.
First time buyer policy guidance
Benefits of being a first time buyer
You can purchase and occupy first time buyer homes, which are typically priced below market rate. You must be a first time buyer to purchase and live in these homes.
Being a first time buyer also means you can access the Government’s Assisted Purchase Pathway. This allows you to qualify for schemes such as Andium Home buy.
The first time you purchase a property, if that's on the open market or a home restricted to first time buyers, you’ll benefit from a reduction in stamp duty, currently on properties up to a value of £500,000. This benefit can be for any type of property across the market. It does not need to be a home restricted to first time buyers. You only benefit from the stamp duty reduction once on your first property purchase. You do not need to pay back the stamp duty you save. If you go on to purchase another property, you’ll be liable for the full stamp duty owed.
If you already own a property
There are circumstances where you might be given discretion to buy a first time buyer property even if you already own a property.
This only applies where you plan to buy a designated first time buyer home and does not include reductions to stamp duty or land transaction tax. These circumstances are set out in the first time buyer policy guidance.
Inheriting properties and your first time buyer status
If you own or have ever owned a property anywhere then you’re not a first time buyer. It does not matter if the ownership is:
- through share transfer ownership
- through inheritance
In certain circumstances such as inheritance you may be able to receive discretion to buy a first time buyer property even if you're no longer a first time buyer. You’d need to appeal to submit a request for consideration of the Minister for Housing and Communities by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and set out your situation. You may need to provide details about your personal and financial circumstances.
The Minister will only grant exceptions on pre-existing ownership based on need. In doing so, the Minister will consult with senior policy officers, housing specialist officers or property lawyers in the Law Officers’ Department before making a decision. This is because of the importance of ensuring that access to first time buyer home is preserved for those who truly need it.
Renting out your first time buyer home
First time buyer homes are intended for owner occupation only. However, there are circumstances where you may be allowed to rent out your home if you meet certain conditions. Find additional details in the first time buyer policy guidance.
If you own, or have ever owned, a property anywhere then you’re not a first time buyer. However, there are some instances where you can
be given discretion to buy a first time buyer property even if you have previously owned property.
A relationship breakdown is one of those scenarios. If you own a house and your relationship breaks down you may be able to access the assisted purchase scheme to buy a new home for you and your children.
You’d need to submit a request for consideration by the Minister for Housing and Communities by email to
email@example.com and set out your situation. You may need to provide details about your personal and financial circumstances. To get advice from the Housing Advice Service email
If your request for consideration by the Minister is granted, then you would not benefit from reduced stamp duty. The first time buyer stamp duty relief is only for your first purchase. Although you can buy a designated first time buyer home, you’d need to pay the full stamp duty.