Scottish Housing Stock Levels Set To Become Dangerously Low

Our Head of Agency Carl Warden warns of the consequences of high Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) costs for buyers. People buying a home in Scotland pay LBTT linked to a sliding scale aligned to the cost of the property – but the rate is vastly different from that in place in England.

Carl Warden, Senior Associate at Bell Ingram, says stock levels are dwindling as people are put off by LBTT costs.

Carl, who has over 30 years’ experience in the property industry, believes that LBTT is putting people off moving home and in turn is causing less housing to come onto the market.

He said: “For the first time since the recession in 2008, agents are having to actively look for stock as people are priced out of the market.”

“The government will tell you that LBTT targets are being met but, in reality, the goalposts have been moved to make them easier to hit.

“Around 50% of sales in Scotland are below the £145,000 mark, where LBTT isn’t applicable, however, as you go up the market, things start to slow down a little, as people realise the huge amount extra they have to pay to buy a property.

“We need to be brought in line with the rest of the UK as at the moment, there is nothing to tempt someone to come and see a property when they know they’ll be stung by high LBTT fees.”
Bell Ingram’s role as a national land and estate agency firm means we are able to provide a unique perspective on the varied outcomes of the tax, informed by a wide network of agency offices across the country.
LBTT was introduced in Scotland in April 2015 in place of UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), with the aim of creating a tax charge that is more proportionate to the actual price of the property.

However, the Scottish Property Federation has stated that it will become increasingly difficult for the Scottish Government to achieve the revenue forecast for residential LBTT of £305m for next year and statistics from Revenue Scotland show that for the period April to July 2018, residential sales were down £1.8 million against the same period last year with LBTT undoubtedly a contributing factor.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Carl and his team are well placed to advise clients on the best course of action for selling their home in this difficult climate and have a list of people who are looking for quality Scottish properties. For more information or to enquire about our free valuation service please get in touch with the office.

Published on 28th September 2018