The introduction of the of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) to replace stamp duty in Scotland is creating a buyers’ market as potential homeowners look to recoup higher tax charges by negotiating hard on the asking price.
This means there are potentially bargains to be had in Scotland though the impact of the new tax system varies widely across the country.
Perthshire-based estate agent Bell Ingram say the market picture is a complex one, with a range of effects being reported.
The aim of the new system is to make tax charges more proportionate to the actual price of the property. However, for many first-time buyers in most parts of Scotland the tax does not apply because the cost of the homes is below the threshold of £145,000, but that is not the case for buyers of second homes who are charged on purchase costs above £40,000.
However, Carl Warden, of Bell Ingram’s Perth office said: “We recently sold a property at £1.15m and the LBTT was £96,350, compared to stamp duty in the rest of the UK at only £58,750 - that’s a £37,600 difference. “Transactions attracting this level of tax are making people do one of two things; either not move at all, or negotiate hard on the asking price based on the vendor reducing their price by the level of tax due.”
On the west coast of Scotland, Will Banham, of Bell Ingram’s Oban office, spoke of how LBTT has also had unusual and unintended consequences for that area. “This tax was designed to make property more affordable for first time buyers but, in practice [it] has simply caused downward pressure on prices, with most buyers explicitly discounting their offers by the exact amount of extra tax due. It is very much a buyers’ market, with vendors losing out.
We look at six of the best new build properties currently available in Scotland:
Wallace Grange, Dunfermline (Taylor Wimpey)
Wallace Grange is a 108-property development of three-, four- and five-bedroom family homes in Dunfermline designed with luxurious textures and fabrics to create an opulent feel. With seven separate house styles to choose from Wallace Grange aims to appeal to a wide range of buyers.
Dunfermline has a great balance of local facilities and there is a retail park at nearby Halbeath and further shopping, eating and leisure options at Fife Leisure Park. There are excellent transport links for drivers with the M90 and A92 close by and rail options for commuters to Edinburgh and beyond.
Help to Buy (Scotland) is available on the three-bedroom properties.
Prices: From £174,000
Find out more about Wallace Grange from Taylor Wimpey
Ocean in Aberdeen (Barratt Homes)
Ocean is a Barratt Homes development of one and two-bedroom executive apartments which first opened next to Aberdeen beach in 2015. A new show apartment, the two-bedroom 'Skua', has recently opened for a new development expected to be completed next year.
Close to both the beach famed for its surfing and the city centre with its lively bars and restaurants, the stylish homes are ideal for first-time buyers, investors and young professionals. Each apartment is close to quiet grassy areas and some have their own private garden on the ground floor and others have balconies offering great views of the city.
Prices: From £199,995
Find out more about Ocean from Barratt Homes
Abbotsway in Paisley, Renfrewshire (Keepmoat Homes)
Abbotsway is a new development from Keepmoat Homes in the thriving town of Paisley. Boasting three bedrooms, these spacious brick-built, modern homes feature a lounge with a bay window, French doors, modern fitted kitchens and airy dining rooms.
Upstairs the new build properties include two good-sized bedrooms, a family bathroom and a master bedroom with an en suite shower room.
With close links to the M8 and just 22 minutes from Glasgow, the site is an ideal location for commuters.
Prices: From £139,995
Find out more about Abbotsway from Keepmoat Homes
Ten Brunswick Road in Edinburgh (CALA Homes)
This development features a selection of luxury apartments in the heart of Edinburgh city centre offering easy access to one of Europe’s finest cultural cities.
Ten Brunswick Road features a variety of specious apartments, many with a terrace or a balcony linked by glass doors and large windows designed to maximise light. The apartments also boast flexible living spaces with spacious living areas, stylish kitchens and convenient en-suites in most master bedrooms.
Situated at the top of Leith Walk and close to an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants, the development is only a mile away from the shops of George Street and Princes Street.
Prices: From £270,000
Find out more about Ten Brunswick Road from CALA Homes
The Larches in Glasgow (Miller Homes)
The Larches is a new development of detached homes located in one of Glasgow’s most attractive areas and is within easy reach of the city centre and Glasgow’s most popular open spaces.
Consisting of a range of four five-bedroom properties the Larches has excellent transport connections to the city centre by car or bus, or by Glasgow’s superb local rail network from Crookston station, just a short distance from the development. The location also offers fast access, by the M77 and A77.
There are excellent educational facilities serving The Larches, including a choice of nursery and primary schools within a ten minute walk. The popular shopping destination, Silverburn Shopping Centre is just a mile away, and there are also a number of other fantastic amenities in the local area.
Prices: From £254,000
Find out more about The Larches from Miller Homes
The Scholars in Dalkeith, Midlothian (Taylor Wimpey)
Located on the site of the former playing fields of St David's Primary School, The Scholars offers a range of two-, three- and four-bedroom family homes as well as spacious two-bedroom apartments.
The traditionally built homes showcase high standards of workmanship and specification, with a number of styles boasting impressive features including garden rooms, family rooms and study rooms.
Set around its own extensive central village green and play area there's plenty of space to enjoy every day life here and it is within easy reach of Edinburgh.
Prices: From £265,000
Find out more about The Scholars from Taylor Wimpey