The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), introduced on 1 April by the Scottish parliament, has slowed the property market north of the border, according to the latest figures from the Your Move/Acadata House Price Index.
House prices in Scotland suffered their steepest fall since the credit crunch of 2007/8 in the weeks following the introduction of LBTT, which replaced stamp duty. The Index shows that the average house price fell by 2.1%, or 4,000, to £180,892 in May.
The new tax brought in an escalating rate on different parts of the purchase price. Five per cent is paid on the portion between £250,001 and £325,000 and 10% above that. In simple terms, buying a home worth more than £333,000 will cost purchasers more than under the old system.
While 84 seven-figure sales were completed in March to beat the deadline, total house sales were down 10% in May and just one £1million home was sold in the two months following the introduction of the tax.
Scottish Conservative housing spokesman Alex Johnstone said: “The Scottish Government was warned changes to stamp duty would harm the sector. It ignored those concerns and now we can see the impact of that.
Christine Campbell, Your Move’s managing director in Scotland, said: “Two months into Scotland's new transaction tax regime and the impact of the overhaul is still reverberating around the property market. These winds of change have buffeted buyers and sellers and it's harder to make out the underlying course of the market as a result.”
Ramsay Grange in Barnton, Edinburgh (Ortus Homes)
Ortus Homes is the new luxury brand from leading retirement developer McCarthy & Stone, offering a higher level of specification and a more lifestyle-led design and location philosophy.
The company has launched a show apartment at this development in Barnton, which will comprise nine luxurious one- and two-bedroom apartments for buyers who are 50+.
The development is a conversion of the Victorian Barnton Hotel, built in 1886. In its heyday, the hotel was a fashionable social hub in the area, providing lounges, dining, dancing and accommodation for residents and guests. It retains some of its architectural characteristics, such as the generous scale of the rooms and ornamental decor on the façade. The building was acquired in 2012 and saved from the Scottish Civic Trust's Buildings at Risk Register.
Find out more at ortushomes.co.uk ; 0800 201 4192
Keepers Gate in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire (Miller Homes)
There’s a Home Exchange or £8,894 LBTT paid offer open to the new buyer of the ‘Chichester’ five-bedroom homes at this development. This double-fronted home can be reserved now and will be ready to move into in September.
Neil Gaffney, Miller Homes West of Scotland sales director, says: “With such a unique property on the development buyers won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be the proud owner of the ‘Chichester’ because of a blockage further down the property ladder. Our sales advisors can take customers through the process within a number of weeks.”
The ‘Chichester’ boasts a separate bay-windowed lounge and a dining room which opens onto the rear garden. The kitchen opens onto a family breakfasting area, offering the ideal space for informal entertaining and spending time together. A study, utility room and cloakroom completes the ground floor layout. There are two en suite bedrooms out of five, with a dressing room to the master bedroom.
Find out more at www.millerhomes.co.uk ; 0808 250 6371
Lockhart Woods in Craiglockhart, Edinburgh (Mactaggart & Mickel Homes)
This cul de sac of luxury homes is coming soon to Craiglockhart, in the southwest of Edinburgh. Located just off Greenbank Drive, this is the site of the Lockhart Woods radio station base, on the edge of leafy Morningside.
Just adjacent to Merchants of Edinburgh and Braid Hills golf courses and with an abundance of surrounding green space, Lockhart Woods is a superb location within a short drive of the city centre as well as the City of Edinburgh bypass and the Pentland Hills.
These nine detached and semi-detached homes will be bordered by mature trees, providing a pleasant setting. There are three-, four- and five-bedroom designs to choose from, all unique to this location and all of a contemporary design, with high ratings for energy efficiency.
Find out more at www.macmic.co.uk ; 0845 600 1925
There aren’t many properties left at this development and the housebuilder is now offering no fewer than three ways to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder here.
The first is Help to Buy (Scotland), a government-backed scheme which allows buyers to purchase with a 5% deposit and a 20% equity loan, reducing the initial purchase price and monthly mortgage requirement dramatically.
The second is a moving-in package which includes an exclusive furniture pack including a TV, sofas, beds, carpets, curtains and lights fittings – all at no extra cost. Thirdly, if buyers reserve a new home at Wallace Gardens by 31 July 2015, they are entered into a competition to win £1,000 worth of techie gadgets from John Lewis.
Among the properties still available is a two-bedroom terrace which has an additional room that could be used as a home study, with lots of built in storage to both bedrooms. A four-bedroom terrace provides a more spacious option, yet still available with the Help to Buy scheme. This property has premium appliances and an en suite to the master bedroom.
Price: £175,950 (with Help to Buy)
Find out more at stewartmilnehomes.com ; 0845 302 6396
Caer Amon Apartments in Cramond, Edinburgh (AMA Homes)
Caer Amon Apartments first release of apartments are now available to purchase. The Show apartment is open from 11am-5pm Thursday-Monday. Apartments now released from £379,000, set in the most stunning rural location with magnificent uninterrupted views of Firth of Forth and close to the charming and ancient village of Cramond. Yet, it’s also just a few miles from the bustling heart of a great European city. The 32 Apartments & Duplexes at Caer Amon allow you to balance urban chic with country charm with ease. Inspired by the simple beauty of Arts & Crafts architecture, all whitewashed walls and slate roofs created around a courtyard setting, these contemporary apartments have been designed to meet the needs of modern life.
Price: From £379,000
Find out more at http://whathou.se/FaJvIR ; 0131 610 1780
Brannock Park in New Stevenston, North Lanarkshire (Robertson Homes)
New Stevenston has become a magnet for homebuyers thanks to its central location and fantastic commuting links to Glasgow and Edinburgh. With great shopping and leisure facilities nearby, and Strathclyde Country Park right on its doorstep, Brannock Park is a development that will find appeal with those who work in the city but prefer a more relaxing home environment.
The housebuilder has introduced a stylish collection of three-, four- and five-bedroom detached and semi-detached homes here, with the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme available to those who want to benefit from a lower deposit and an interest-free equity loan for five years.
Price: From £145,995
Find out more at www.robertsonhomes.co.uk ; 0845 890 9442