A sunshine island where only rich folks are at home

Fancy buying a property on Jersey? Unless you have at least £5m, forget it - they even turned down Bergerac


Buying a house in Jersey is like trying to get into a posh golf club. When trying to make enquiries about getting in, the conversation goes something like this:

“I’m awfully sorry sir, all our membership categories are full up and we have a waiting list.

“Oh is that your cheque book I see sir? And you say you have how much in the bank? Possibly I was a little hasty sir – would you care for a drink?” I kid you not, to buy in Jersey you need to have been resident and working there for at least 10 years. Only then can you apply to purchase property.

If you turn up at the marina with a suitcase stuffed full of used tenners the rules change

That is, unless you turn up at the airport – or more likely the marina – with a suitcase stuffed with used tenners, because then the rules change.
The deal for wealthy people to acquire property here is that they have to agree to contribute £100,000 a year in taxes.

As far as the Channel Islands government is concerned, this is regarded as having paid all the tax on their worldwide income and they are free to move in.

But before you pack your bags I should probably tell you that to qualify for this treatment you also need to show that you have a minimum of £5m in the bank.

Property is at least as expensive in Jersey as it is in Surrey. I browsed a few estate agents’ windows and saw a quaint cottage that couldn’t have been more than 800 square feet and would have suited Rioja and me nicely.

But the asking price was over £500,000. The fact is that unless you have a million to spend you won’t get much.