There has been an 11 per cent increase in sales in Scotland over the past year – and one major agency puts that down squarely to the replacement of stamp duty with the more progressive Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. Christine Campbell, Your Move managing director in Scotland, says: “By cutting the cost of purchasing cheaper homes, LBTT has led to an 11 per cent increase in sales over the last year. These figures confirm that lower purchase taxes for property can significantly boost activity in the housing market, while also making it more affordable for first-time buyers to get a foot on the ladder.” With 104,344 home sales in the last 12 months, the market has outdone the previous year’s 93,601 sales.
Campbell says the Scottish Government should now consider lifting the LBTT bands higher to support Scotland’s fragile property and construction sector however, despite the boost in sales volumes, house prices are still down 7.8 per cent year-on-year according to Your Move data.
“In part, this drop in property values was caused by a spike in high value home sales last year, before the LBTT was introduced, but today’s market hasn’t regained those losses yet” suggests Campbell.
“Most recently, despite the new LBTT surcharge adding an extra three per cent to the cost of second homes and buy to let properties, house prices have remained stable from last month. However, home sales for the first four months of the year are still well ahead on the same point in 2015, with 4,751 additional property purchases so far in 2016.