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

As a first-time homebuyer, you do not have to pay transfer tax if the deed of sale or other agreement is signed before 1 January 2024 and if the following conditions are met at the time of signing:

  • 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 be a share in a housing company, such as an apartment in a block of flats or a terraced house. It may also be a unit of real estate, such as a detached house. The exemption from transfer tax does not apply to parking spots or other such property whose shares can be sold separately. 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.

Remember to file a transfer tax return

Even if you do not pay transfer tax, you must still always file a transfer tax return. If you buy a house (a real estate unit), remember to request the registration of title to the property. In addition, you must file a notification of move to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

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 file a transfer tax return and obtain registration.

Frequently Asked Questions

When purchasing a piece of property as a first-time homebuyer, you are exempt from transfer tax if the deed of sale or other agreement is signed before 1 January 2024.

However, even if the transfer would otherwise be exempt from tax, you will have to pay transfer tax if you do not move in to your new home within 6 months from

  • the date when you signed the contract, or
  • the date when you received the right of ownership, if the property you purchased is a new build.

If you move in later to live in the purchased property on a permanent basis, you can request a refund of the transfer tax you have paid. You can submit the refund application in MyTax or on a paper form.

We will refund you the transfer tax you paid to the extent that the requirements for tax exemption are met.

If you have bought a building site or plot before 1 January 2024 and you plan to build your first home on that site, you may be entitled to the first-time homebuyer’s tax exemption if all other requirements are met. However, you must first file the transfer tax return and pay the transfer tax on the land or plot purchased. You must also ask for the registration of your title to the property from the National Land Survey of Finland.

You can request a refund of the transfer tax you have paid after the construction is finished, the house has passed the final inspection, and you have moved in and started to use the house as your permanent home. You can submit the refund application in MyTax or on a paper form. If all the requirements for tax exemption are met, we will refund the tax you paid.

Example: Property (piece of land) is sold on 31 December 2023. The buyer builds a detached house on the property. The house is completed on 15 November 2024 and is used for permanent living as of that date. The buyer applies for the registration of their title to the property in January 2024. The transfer tax return is filed and the transfer tax is paid according to the new 3% tax rate before the request for title registration is submitted. As long as the other requirements are met, the buyer qualifies for the first-time homebuyer’s exemption from transfer tax. After the house is completed and in permanent residential use, the buyer can request a refund of the transfer tax they have paid.

Requirements on the site of a building

If the requirements for the first-time homebuyer’s transfer tax exemption are otherwise met, please note that the exemption applies to no more than the plot area defined in the zoning plan. The tax exemption can also be granted for building sites in unzoned areas. In that case, the site exempted from tax is the building site used as the basis for the calculation of real estate tax. However, the maximum area that can be exempted from tax is 10,000 square metres.

The exemption applies to the land and to the residential properties located on it (a detached house and an outbuilding, for example).

You must therefore pay transfer tax on the part of the purchase price that is related to any land or property outside the tax-exempt maximum area. This may include woodland, field areas, or other building sites, for example. In this case, you must present a justified estimate of which parts of the total purchase price are for which pieces of property.

Alternatively, you can ask the Tax Administration to give you a statement on how much transfer tax you have to pay.

Read more about the first-time homebuyer’s exemptions when buying real estate (in Finnish and Swedish only, link to Finnish)

When purchasing a piece of property as a first-time homebuyer, you are exempt from transfer tax if the binding deed of sale or other agreement is signed before 1 January 2024.

However, if you have previously owned 50% or more of a piece of residential property in Finland or abroad, you are not entitled to the tax exemption. This also applies to

  • an apartment or residential property bought as an investment
  • an apartment or residential property that you have received as inheritance or as a gift. 

For example, if you already owned 50% or more of your current home and you bought an additional share in the same property before 1 January 2024, the additional share you bought is not exempt from transfer tax under the first-time homebuyer’s tax exemption.

However, if you own a leisure property or a holiday time share, or if you have lived in a right-of-occupancy dwelling, you may still be entitled to the first-time homebuyer’s transfer tax exemption. The deciding factor is whether the deed of sale or other agreement concerning your first home is signed before 1 January 2024.

You may still be entitled to the first-time homebuyer’s transfer tax exemption even if you own a summer cottage. Owning a leisure property or a holiday time share or having a right-of-occupancy dwelling does not prevent you from buying a first-time home exempt from transfer tax, as long as the deed of sale for the first-time home is signed before 1 January 2024.

However, if you have previously owned 50% or more of a piece of residential property in Finland or abroad, you are not entitled to the tax exemption. This applies to residential property bought for investment purposes.

The first-time homebuyer's tax exemption only applies to a permanent home (as long as the deed of sale or other agreement for the home is signed before 1 January 2024).

You may also purchase a parking spot or a storage space at the same time. If the shares which grant you ownership over the parking spot or storage space are separate from the apartment, i.e. you can sell the shares separately from the apartment, they are not exempt from transfer tax.

Read more about the first-time homebuyer’s exemption from transfer tax (available in Finnish and Swedish, link to Finnish).

It is possible to buy your first home in stages. In order to be eligible for the first-time homebuyer’s transfer tax exemption, you must have owned at least 50% of the property before 1 January 2024.

If you have bought less than half of the property before that date, you have also paid transfer tax on the purchase. If your later purchase makes you eligible for the tax exemption, you can ask for your previous transfer tax payment to be refunded. Use the refund form for transfer tax. We will refund you the transfer tax you paid to the extent that the requirements for tax exemption are met.

If you already own at least half of the home and you later purchase an additional share of the same property, the first-time homebuyer’s tax exemption does not apply to the later purchase.

The exemption from transfer tax applies to no more than the plot area defined in the zoning plan. The tax exemption can also be granted for building sites in unzoned areas as long as the deed of sale is signed before 1 January 2024. In that case, the site exempted from tax is the building site used as the basis for the calculation of real estate tax. However, the maximum area that can be exempted from tax is 10,000 square metres.

The exemption applies to the land and to the residential properties located on it (a detached house and an outbuilding, for example).

You must therefore pay transfer tax on the part of the purchase price that is related to any land or property outside the tax-exempt maximum area. This may include woodland, field areas, or other building sites, for example. In this case, you must present a justified estimate of which parts of the total purchase price are for which pieces of property.

Alternatively, you can ask the Tax Administration to give you a statement on how much transfer tax you have to pay.

Read more about the first-time homebuyer’s exemption from transfer tax (in Finnish and Swedish only, link to Finnish)

Page last updated 1/8/2024