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Changes to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax

Following Deputy First Minister John Swinney's announcement that he will revise the initially proposed Land and Buildings Transaction Tax rates, Karen Turner, property sales director, comments on the potential impact on the property market in Scotland.
For more information on the changes and how they compare to the current Stamp Duty Land Tax system, visit our dedicated LBTT information page.

Karen Turner,

property sales director, comments on new changes to the proposed LBTT system:

The announcement by the Scottish Government to review the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax percentage is to be welcomed but it is disappointing to note the higher levels of taxes many Scottish buyers will be subject to come April. This has been a very unsettling time for those planning to buy and sell properties so at least there is clarity around what the changes will be once we move from the UK’s Stamp Duty system. Potential buyers and sellers, as well as the wider industry, will now be seeking assurance that there will be no further changes introduced.

“In areas such as Edinburgh where property prices are higher than the national average, a significant section of the market is set to be disproportionately hit by this new tax. We have had a busy period since the Stamp Duty changes were introduced in December with sellers keen to move quickly to aim for pre-April entry dates and this is likely to continue.

“With the 10% rate of tax to kick in at £325,000 as opposed to £925,000 in the UK system and the 12% rate at £750,000 instead of £1.5m there will certainly be a high number of people at the higher end of the market looking to take advantage of the current system in the coming months.

“While we always advise buyers and sellers to take their time to ensure they make the best decisions for their individual situation, sometimes the best advice can be to act quickly. For those homeowners with higher value properties considering a move in the near future, this advice would still be relevant as buyers stand to make significant savings when purchasing properties of £335,000 and above before April - although purchasers across the board will now be better off than under the previously proposed LBTT levels.

“For those buying properties priced between £250,000 and £325,000, there will still be slight savings to be had versus the UK Stamp Duty system and those buying at the lower end of the market will welcome the increased exemption level of £145,000.”

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