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Buying Real Estate for Foreigners in the Isle of Man

Buying Real Estate for Foreigners in the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is located between Ireland and England and it can be an attractive location to purchase real estate. The location is a known financial services  center that also has a number of recognized sectors such as telecommunications or aerospace.

Buying real estate for foreigners in the Isle of Man is not limited or subject to springent conditions and those interested will find that these types of purchases are completely permitted. Nonetheless, as in other jurisdictions, those who wish to make this investment will need to follow the general steps to complete the process.

Our team of Isle of Man company registration specialists is able to help foreigners purchase property, along with providing a set of other services related to the actual incorporation of a business. 

Properties for sale in the Isle of Man

Commercial and residential properties are the two categories available to foreign investors in real estate. The island has a comprehensive offer in terms of properties for purchase, from apartments to large properties in the coastal region or inland. Real estate prices can be comparable to those in some areas in England or Whales. The value of a four-bedroom residential property will be above 200,000 £, depending on the region in which the house is located. Apartments on the island will have a lower value, with averaging at approximately 150,000 £ in most cases.

The ideal property for purchase in the Isle of Man will depend on its final use: whether it is for residential purpose or for renting or offering accommodation. Some foreign buyers may choose to purchase a residential property and convert it into a hostel or another type of establishment that offers accommodation services. In this case, they will also need to open a company and our Isle of Man company registration agents are able to provide complete information on the incorporation of the business.

We can also give you details if you are interested in obtaining Isle of Man permanent residence before buying a home.

Purchasing real estate in the Isle of Man

The number of transactions involving real estate increased over the years. 

Property purchase in the Isle of Man for foreign investors will generally include the following steps:

  1. Budget planning: the first phase includes deciding on a budget that will allow the buyer to purchase the desired property; as previously stated, prices for houses will be at more than 200,000 £.
  2. Location: location is important for many buyers and foreigners will wish to research the living conditions in some of the largest residential areas, such as those on the east coast.
  3. Valuation: some investors may wish to perform a property valuation; this inspection will confirm the market value of the house or apartment.
  4. Agreement: when purchasing the property, the sales contract will be the legal instrument used to transfer the rights on the property; legal assistance can be required during this phase.

Those who purchase property in the Isle of Man for the first time are advised to prepare the deposit, which can be 5 to 10% of the property price. Having a budget in mind, as suggested above, will help those interested plan for this initial deposit.

Preparing for the buy in advance is one of the key elements to secure a satisfying purchase. It is useful to know that there is no stamp duty in the Isle of Man and that the real property taxes are levied at a local level and they apply to the ownership and occupation of real estate, according to the property’s value.

Working with an estate agent in common and many foreign investors who purchase property in the Isle of Man will choose these types of services. Further assistance may also be required for arranging the mortgage. A solicitor in the Isle of Man or a conveyancing company will offer services throughout the procedure.

One of our Isle of Man company formation agents can provide more information to interested foreign investors.

Financial assistance for commercial property renovations in the Isle of Man

Investors can access a number of grants or schemes for business, provided by the Government. Among these we mention the Isle of Man town and village regeneration scheme that offer financial support to those who purchase commercial buildings and need support to make the necessary renovations or improvements.

The aim of this scheme targeting commercial property investments is to allow investors to have sufficient funds to improve the appearance and the quality of the buildings located in the Island’s towns and villages. The following two categories are targeted:

  • visual building appearance: improved painting, glass fronts, lighting schemes, signage and access (automatic doors, ramps, and others);
  • civic amenities: access, seating, public art, signage, easy access.

The amount that is available through this state grant is capped at £25,000. Local companies can receive up to 50% of the funding for their projects and the applicant must be able to show that he has sufficient funds to pay for the renovation works in full. The state will then reimburse up to 50% upon completion. Limited companies, charities, sole traders and partnerships can access this type of funding. The previous requirement for the commercial building to be located in a regeneration area was removed, not allowing all those who own a commercial property with direct access from the public highway to access the scheme. It is important to note that work on the premises must not have started before the application for funding was submitted and taken into account. Moreover, the scheme does not apply to residential properties and commercial buildings can only access the funds and apply them to external renovations and improvements. Entities will usually benefit from a single application per site, per year. Funding and support for commercial buildings located in certain areas is provided by the Department for Enterprise. Our team can give you more details about the eligibility criteria.

Investments in the Isle of Man

The top reasons why entrepreneurs choose to invest in the Isle of Man include the favorable and stable location, the low taxes and the excellent infrastructure. Moreover, for investments in the real estate sector, the high demand for rental accommodation is another driving factor.

Setting up a company in the Isle of Man is a simple process and entrepreneurs can choose to start their real estate business with the help of our specialists. Alternatively, those investors who are interested in diversifying their real estate investment portfolio can reach out to us when they are in need of advice on purchasing property for foreigners, irrespective of whether a company will be incorporated to hold the purchased real estate. 

The facts below represent highlight the situation of the housing market in 2017:

  • average price: the average price for property increased by 0.4% in 2017, having a value of 248,250 £.
  • house average price: in 2017, the average price for a house in the Isle of Man was 268,220 £.
  • apartment average price: the average value for a flat located in the Isle of Man in 2017 was 149,991 £.
  • mortgage debt: this reduced by approximately 30% from the peak values recorded in December 2009.

Real estate owners in the Isle of Man can take advantage of the tax neutral regime, as well as the fact that there are no requirements for complex accounting reporting. Working with our CPA in Isle of Man is simply advisable to meet the conditions for keeping proper books of accounts, preparing the yearly profits and loss statements, and other documents as needed for particular cases.

Why choose the Isle of Man?

The Isle of Man is suitable both for work and business purposes. It is an innovative business center that fosters professionalism as well as international, positive business climate. Financial services are among the top industries, along with banking, the creative industries, tourism, e-Gaming and much more. Different categories category includes aerospace, as previously mentioned, manufacturing and shipping as well as other sub-categories in the maritime industry.

Getting your business started in the Isle of Man, or pursuing an employment option suited to one’s career, is not a complicated process. In fact, there are two important issues: EU/EEA nationals need to obtain a work permit and non-EU/EEA nationals need to obtain a visa. Our team can help you understand these rules if you plan to open a company here and need to spend more time to incorporate or manage the business.

As previously mentioned, the Government supports businesses through a variety of schemes. While there is only one that targets commercial property renovations, business owners can access others that offer support, such as:

  • the micro-business scheme that allows individuals to become self-employed;
  • the enterprise development scheme and the financial assistance scheme;
  • the business improvement scheme targeting new businesses that need to acquire additional accreditations and/or benefit from better management skills;
  • the business energy saving scheme and the employee relocation incentive, the latter allowing employers to access financial assistance when they bring staff to the Isle of Man.

The Isle of Man funding and support scheme can be accessed by businesses of all sizes.

Apart from the advantages for businesses (and investors who purchase commercial property), the Isle of Man also offers low personal tax rates and the previously mentioned low tax regime in general, with no land tax, and no capital gains tax. Moreover, those living on the Island report a high quality of life.

Investors who wish to know more about Isle of Man company formation can contact us. Our agents can provide complete details on investing in real estate and purchasing property for foreigners.