Guernsey

Guernsey first time buyers 'should get help' says deputy

Proposed reductions in document duty should be higher for first-time buyers, according to one deputy.

The Treasury and Resources Department wants to reduce the bond and conveyance fees paid when buying a house for less than £400,000.

Deputy Yvonne Burford said the suggested changes should just be for first-time buyers with other buyers getting a smaller reduction in duty.

Both proposals are due to be debated by the States next week.

Lower sales

The department has suggested the move in a bid to address lower housing sales.

In 2012 the States raised £17.1m from document duty but it is expected to fall to £14.25m in 2013.

Currently duty of 2% is paid for transactions under £150,000, 2.5% for sales between £150,000 and £250,000 and 3% on those above £250,000.

Under the department's plan from 29 October 2019 until 31 October 2014 duty would be 1% on properties below £250,000, 2% on those between £250,000 and £400,000 and 3% for any above £400,000.

From 1 November 2014 these would rise to 2%, 2.5% and 3% respectively.

Deputy Yvonne Burford's proposal is just for the duty running up to 31 October 2014.

She wants first-time buyers to have the proposed rates while anyone who has previously owned property in the island would pay 2%, 2.5% and 3% respectively.

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