Boost in Scottish housing market ‘bucks UK trend’

The Scottish housing market bucked the UK trend in October with a pick-up in inquiries from new buyers, surveyors say.

The latest Rics UK Residential Market Survey also highlights an expectation that prices will rise, this is despite concerns remaining about land tax and a lack of stock.

Surveyors have reported that the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), which is charged in Scotland, is proving “prohibitively high”.

There are also concerns that it is having an adverse effect on sales, especially at the higher end of the market.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has called on the Scottish government to address this problem by reviewing the LBTT framework.

It wants a structure put in place which would inject what it calls “some much-needed fluidity into the market”.

Across the UK, interest from buyers continued to decline in October, with 20% more respondents seeing a fall in new-buyer inquiries over the month.

Agreed sales were also reported to have fallen again with 20% more respondents noting a decline in transactions over the month at the national level.

Scotland, Wales and the North East of England were the only areas to see any pick-up for agreed sales, while sales trends were either flat or negative across the rest of the UK.

Rhona Murray, Associate at Gildeas said : “This is a positive sign for the Scottish housing market. We can see progress being made, despite some concerns being raised around influence of the Additional Dwellings Supplement and certain aspects of the Land & Buildings Transaction Tax.

“At Gildeas Solicitors, we offer a first-class service in Conveyancing for clients who are buying and selling. Whatever your property needs happen to be, at any stage, we will be on hand to provide sound legal advice and guidance throughout the process.”