First-time homebuyer – find out whether the exemption applies to you

As a first-time homebuyer, you may not have to pay transfer tax if:

  • Your age is 18 to 39 when you sign the contract.
  • After the purchase, your share of ownership is 50% or more.
  • You buy the place to use it as your permanent home and you move in within 6 months from the date when you signed the contract.
  • On the date when you sign the contract, you have not been a homeowner previously with at least a 50-percent ownership of an apartment or a house.

A first home may consist of shares in a housing company such as a block of flats or a terraced house.  It can also consist of real estate such as a detached house. The exemption from paying transfer tax does not apply to parking spaces. This rule especially applies on separate housing-company shares that entitle you to a garage located in the block, and you are able to sell off these shares to an outside buyer without selling your home.

Even though you will not pay transfer tax, you must remember to file a transfer tax return in all circumstances. In the same way, if you buy a house (a real estate unit), you must remember to ask for registration of its title. In addition, you must file a Notification of move to the Local Register Office.

First-time homebuyer – How to file a transfer tax return for shares in a housing company.

First-time homebuyer of a unit of real estate – how to ask for an eligibility statement and obtain registration.

Frequently Asked Questions

You must pay the transfer tax if you don’t move in to the house/apartment in 6 months

  • after the date when you signed the contract, or
  • after the date when you received the right of ownership to a new property, i.e. a newly built flat/apartment.

If you move in later to live there on a permanent basis, you can request refund. You can submit a refund application in MyTax or on a paper form.

If all the requirements for exemption are met, we will refund the tax you paid.

If you buy a lot for building the house, you must pay the transfer tax for it, submit the transfer tax return, and ask for registration of the transfer of title to you first.

Later, you can request refund when construction is finished and the authorities have inspected your house and declared it ready. You can submit a refund application in MyTax or on a paper form.  If all the requirements for exemption are met, we will refund the tax you paid.

Requirements on the site of a building

The exemption can maximally be applied on a lot that has been created in accordance with the local zoning plan. If you have bought a site in an area that has not been zoned, your maximum exemption from transfer tax is for 10,000 square metres. This definition only limits the maximum tax-exempt size of the building site. The site used for the calculation of real estate tax is considered to be the tax-exempt building site.

You must pay transfer tax on the part of the price that you have paid for any land outside the tax-exempt maximum area. Examples of what you must include in such a price would be what you paid for woodland, field areas, or other sites suitable for construction of houses. In this case, you must present a calculation that shows the consistent parts of the price.

Alternatively, you can ask the Tax Administration for a statement in order to obtain a calculation of the transfer tax you must pay.

Read more about first-time homebuyer’s exemptions when purchasing real estate. (in Finnish and Swedish only).

You do not have the right to get the first-time homebuyer’s exemption if you have previously been the owner of 50% or more of:

  • A flat, apartment or house, located in Finland or outside Finland – this also includes any ownership of residential property as an investment
  • A flat, apartment or house that you have received as an inheritance or gift.

For example, if you currently live in a home for which you got a first-time homebuyer’s exemption, owning 50% or more of it, and you want to increase your ownership share by buying an additional percentage of the home for yourself, you cannot be granted the first-time homebuyer’s exemption for that purchase.

However, the tax exemption is not prevented if you own a summer house, real estate for recreation purposes, shares in a leisure house, or you have had a right-of-occupancy.

The exemption only concerns permanent homes.

It may be that you buy a parking or storage space together with your home. Nevertheless, they are left outside of the exemption if the parking and storage spaces can be separated from the whole and can thus be sold separately (e.g. a specific series of shares in the housing company) to a buyer.

It is possible to buy the first home in stages. If what you buy for yourself represents less than half of the ownership of the home, you must pay transfer tax on your purchase.

If you make a further purchase later and after that, you own at least half, you can request refund. You can submit a refund application in MyTax or on a paper form.

If all the requirements for exemption are met, we will refund the tax you paid.

In a planned area, the exemption from transfer tax applies to no more than the plot as it is set out by the local zoning plan. If you have bought a site in an area that has not been zoned, your maximum exemption from transfer tax is for 10,000 square metres. This definition only limits the maximum tax-exempt size of the building site. The site used for the calculation of real estate tax is considered to be the tax-exempt building site.

You must pay transfer tax on the part of the price that you have paid for any land outside the tax-exempt maximum area. Examples of what you must include in such a price would be what you paid for woodland, field areas, or other sites suitable for construction of houses. In this case, you must present a calculation that shows the consistent parts of the price.

Alternatively, you can ask the Tax Administration for a statement in order to obtain a calculation of the transfer tax you must pay.