Scotland has suffered the largest fall in sales of top end properties anywhere in Britain after deals for homes worth upwards of £1 million fell by more than a third.
In the first six months of 2017, 53 houses in this price tag were sold north of the Border – down by 35 per cent from the same period last year.
Across Britain as a whole sales were down by just 1 per cent, falling from 6,684 to 6,613, research by the Bank of Scotland showed. The drop in Scotland contrasts with the 55 per cent increase in sales of £1 million properties seen in north-west England.
Yorkshire and the Humber experienced a rise of 45 per cent and in the West Midlands there was a 33 per cent jump.
The research looked at figures from the Land Registry covering England and Wales and the Registers of Scotland.
Wales saw sales of £1 million-plus properties fall by 31 per cent – from 13 in the first six months of 2016 to nine in the first half of 2017. London, where sales of £1 million-plus homes tend to be concentrated, saw transactions in this bracket drop by 7 per cent, from 4,230 to 3,940.
Edinburgh saw the biggest fall in million-pound homes in Scotland, with 19 (38 per cent) fewer deals in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period last year.
But the capital accounts for more than half of £1 million property sales in Scotland, with 31 transactions recorded.
Under the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, which replaced Stamp Duty in Scotland, a charge of 12 per cent is applied on sales of homes worth more than £750,000.
According to estate agents, who have criticised the LBTT scheme, this means a £1.2 million house in Scotland would be taxed at £102,350, compared to £63,750 in England.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “This report does not reflect the latest official Registers of Scotland (RoS) data which shows that, year-on-year, £1 million sales in Scotland are currently increasing by 6.4 per cent, which is a faster rate of growth than the market below £1 million.
“We have taken a fair approach to taxation with LBTT rates, prioritising support for first-time buyers and assisting people as they progress through the property market.”