Strong Scottish property market weathers indyref uncertainty

Home buyers in Scotland are  used to political turmoil, leaving the property market resilient. Picture: Toby Williams
Home buyers in Scotland are used to political turmoil, leaving the property market resilient. Picture: Toby Williams
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The resilience of Scottish buyers who have become used to political turmoil – combined with a return of purchasers as the pro-independence movement loses momentum – have pushed the property market to its strongest level since before the recession, an estate agent has claimed.

Scotland is experiencing the strongest property market since 2008, with a total of 101,421 residential transactions during the year ending June 2017, despite under-supply in the market and problems from the introduction of new property taxes, according to Savill’s annual analysis of the Scottish housing market.

The study said that while the market as a whole was showing resilience to the political situation, with the latest Registers of Scotland figures showing the highest number of transactions since 2008, the top end of the market was being stifled by new property taxes and chronic under-supply in the market.

In its annual Scottish Property Outlook seminar, held this morning in Glasgow, Savills said that the market for properties priced above £750,000 is struggling to adjust to the land and buildings transaction tax, introduced in Scotland in April 2015.

The report said: “Scotland’s improved market performance is due in part to the resilience of Scottish buyers who have become used to political change, combined with a return of buyers from outside Scotland, who are attracted by the value gap and the reduced momentum with regards to the Scottish independence debate.”

People working in London but buying family homes north of the Border are making a return to the property market, the report said, a trend fuelled by the decreased likelihood of a second independence referendum.

It said: “As the political challenges in Scotland have eased, London buyers are also making a comeback.

This is against a backdrop of slowing house price growth in London, due to increased levels of stamp duty taxation, mortgage regulation and the Brexit vote, which have left the local market more exposed to uncertainty.”

Selling times across Scotland’s cities have dropped from 12 to nine weeks over the 12 month period, while Scottish house prices increased annually by 2.9 per cent.

Andrew Perratt, head of Savills Residential in Scotland, said that buyers in Scotland are paying £48,350 on a £750,000 residential property for a main home or £70,850 for a second home, while in the rest of the UK, the tax would only be £27,500 for a main home or £50,000 for a second home.