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As mentioned in previous blogs, I was concerned when John Swinney announced the proposed LBTT rates in October as I felt the new rates were a disincentive to the middle and top end of the market and would have had a huge impact on the property market. I am pleased that John Swinney has listened to the market and whilst his new recommendations are a step in the right direction (in that many will benefit from his new proposals), I am still of the view that the increased tax take above £400,000 will also restrict the property market. I would have preferred to see a couple of extra bandings between £350,000 and £1m to bring the Scottish tax level slightly closer to the UK-wide level. For instance, the UK-wide level of Stamp Duty on a purchase of £450,000 is £12,500 but the new Scotland rate proposed from April 2015 is £18,350, an increase of nearly £6,000.
It will be interesting to see how the property market reacts to these amended proposals.
Partner & Head of Property