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In the past ten years residential house price averages increased by 7.7 per cent. The average price in 2007/08 was £154,810, while in 2016/17 it was £166,681. The Scottish Households survey 2016 shows that 83 per cent of people in Scotland live in urban areas, while only 17 per cent live in rural areas.

In the last five years the volume of sales in Scotland’s cities has risen by 35.3 per cent. During 2016/17, 30.3 per cent of all residential properties sold were located within one of Scotland’s seven cities.

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Propertymark Qualifications offers a specialist estate agency qualification for agents in Scotland which can be completed flexibly through distance learning or supported study. More info...

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Industry focus

Agent regulation

In April 2018, the UK Government announced a series of measures which aim to drive up standards and bring an end to rogue estate agents. The Housing Secretary announced that all agents will be required to hold a professional qualification.

The measures, which follow the UK Government's consultation process on house buying and selling which closed in December 2017, will also require estate agents to be transparent about the fees they receive for referring clients to solicitors, surveyors and mortgage brokers. The measures will affect agents operating in England, Scotland and Wales, reflecting the scope of the Estate Agents Act 1979.

In October 2018, UK Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler, announced the setup of the Regulating Property Agents Working Group chaired by crossbencher Lord Best – tasked with raising standards across the housing sector. The group will be making recommendations to better support homebuyers, sellers, landlords, leaseholders and tenants.

The recommendations will be of relevance to the whole of the UK. Whilst lettings and managing agents’ powers are devolved, estate agency powers are reserved to the UK Government.

NAEA Propertymark and ARLA Propertymark will be members of the group, playing an active role in working towards a more professional and regulated property industry.

"We have been working closely with government since the announcement of the Regulating Property Agents Working Group. We are pleased to see that this has been now set up and look forward to progressing this in the interests of all parties” Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive

More info

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT)

Since 1 April 2015, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) replaced UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in Scotland. Under LBTT, properties worth up to £145,000 will not pay any tax. Since 30 June 2018, first-time buyers are exempt from paying tax on property purchases up to £175,000.

On Thursday 9 July 2020, The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes MSP, announced a temporary increase to the starting threshold for LBTT for residential property transactions. Effective from 15 July 2020 to 31 March 2021 the starting threshold for relevant transactions will be £250,000. For sales between £250,000 and £325,000, a tax rate of five per cent will apply. Between £325,001 and £750,000, the rate will remain ten per cent, with a top rate of 12 per cent applying to all transactions above £750,000.

For transactions after 31 March 2021 the previous rates and bands will continue to apply as follows. For sales between £145,001 and £250,000, a tax rate of two per cent is applicable with a rate of five per cent between £250,001 and £325,000. Between £325,001 and £750,000, the rate will be ten per cent, with a top rate of 12 per cent applying to all transactions above £750,000.

Additional Dwelling Supplement

Since April 2016, a surcharge above the current LBTT residential rates is applicable to anyone purchasing an additional property (that is not their only or main residence) for £40,000 or more. First-time buyers also benefit from relief on the portion of property purchases below the £175,000 threshold.

The change to the starting threshold announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance on 9 July 2020 also applies to residential property transactions where the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) applies. A residential property transaction between 15 July 2020 and 31 March 2021 that is liable to the ADS will not pay the standard residential rates on the first £250,000 of the purchase price, however the ADS remains payable at four per cent of the total purchase price.

For transactions after 31 March 2021 the previous residential rates and bands will continue to apply to the transaction, with the ADS remaining at four per cent of the total purchase price, the rate approved by the Scottish Parliament in the Scottish Budget 2019-20 which has been in effect since 25 January 2019.

NAEA Propertymark and ARLA Propertymark submitted a response to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee who scrutinised the Scottish Budget 2019-20 proposals to increase the ADS rate from three per cent to four percent.

Read our response

First-time buyer relief

In December 2017, the Scottish Government announced that they would introduce a new LBTT relief for first-time buyers of properties up to £175,000. The Scottish Government launched a consultation on the policy in January 2018 before planning to introduce secondary legislation. The relief came into force on 30 June 2018.

NAEA Propertymark responded to the consultation welcoming any move to help first-time buyers and ensure the dream of home ownership becomes a reality. However, we believe that proposals for first-time buyers should also be considered alongside reforms to the middle and upper bands of LBTT, where significant amounts of tax become payable.

Anecdotally, our members continue to report that LBTT is having a continued negative impact on those looking to sell in the middle to prime portion of the market. As a result, this is having a negative knock-on effect in other house price brackets. An easing of LBTT can avoid the market stagnating further and ultimately increase tax revenues for the Scottish Government.

Read our response

Get in Touch

Daryl McIntosh

Daryl McIntosh

Strategic Development Manager
darylmcintosh@propertymark.co.uk
07714 520 875

Matthew Gray

David Mackie

NAEA Propertymark Regional Executive
davidmackie@naea-execs.co.uk

Scotland office

Scotland office

Westpoint, 4 Redheughs Rigg
South Gyle, Edinburgh EH12 9DQ