New land registration fees seek to differentiate on-Island and off-Island purchasers

22 March 2023

An adjusted fees and duties structure for those registering property purchases in the Isle of Man will come into force on 1st May 2023.

The Central Registry will introduce the new fees and duties, which are intended to recognise market pressures being driven by in part by investors and buy-to-let buyers, whilst further discounting and favouring owner-occupiers, and through this differential, provide a greater insight into the drivers of the property market

The Land, Deeds and Probate Registries Fees and Duties Order 2023, which was laid before Tynwald at the March 2023 sitting, will comprise the following changes:

  • Increasing the threshold at which owner-occupier properties become exempt from  the variable fees from £190,000 to £230,000;
  • Increase fee and duties for non-owner-occupiers from 1% to 2% for properties up to £500,000;
  • Introduce a new fee for off-Island buyers of an additional 2%; and
  • Update fixed fees to reflect general inflation since 2019.

This has the effect that registration fees payable will be reduced for properties purchased for between £191,000 and £1 million by residents, or purchasers intending to become resident in the Island, providing they will own and occupy the property as their sole residence. In addition a new provision will be brought forward to allow for certain exemptions for charities and organisations as applicable.

Tim Johnston MHK, Minister for Enterprise, commented:

‘Securing suitable and affordable housing is widely recognised as a challenge for many residents of the Isle of Man. Through the Island Plan, this administration has committed to addressing barriers and refocusing incentives to enable residents to own their own homes, alongside improving the quality of accommodation across the Island.

‘The Economic Strategy goes a step further, recognising that in order to address growing demographic challenges in the long-term, we must invest in infrastructure to attract and retain an economically active population, a key element being our ability to offer current and new residents affordable and attractive housing stock.   

‘The Economic Strategy specifically proposed the concept of incentives and disincentives and today, there is no differentiation in our land fees between those who live in the Island and investors who live elsewhere. By separating the two we will get improved information on the types of purchases being made, by lowering the fees and duties charged for those who are registering properties as their sole residence in the Island, we intend to provide a modest nudge to the housing market by providing a tangible financial benefit to homebuyers, both locally and those relocating to the Island, over off-Island investors.’

‘I acknowledge that this change alone will not address the range of challenges facing homebuyers in the Isle of Man. It does however compliment the holistic response of Government to make the property market more accessible to residents and enhance the Island’s proposition when preparing to welcome a larger, more diverse population.’

A copy of the Order is available from the Tynwald Register of Business.