The newly renovated Glenhead Farmhouse
The newly renovated Glenhead Farmhouse

One quarter of house sales in Scotland continue to go to buyers from England

Changes in stamp duty levels in unlikely to deter buyers south of the border from snapping up a property in Scotland.

It is expected that in 2018, one-quarter of all house sales in Scotland will be made by buyers from England.

Experts say the number of Scottish properties being snapped up by English buyers should remain mostly unaffected by changes in stamp duty levels.

Despite fears that the tax differences would have a negative impact on the housing market, one in four homebuyers in Scotland are set to remain English.

The newly renovated Glenhead Farmhouse is one property presented by Bell Ingram

Bell Ingram, one of the country’s leading land and estate agents, believe that the plans set out by Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, in his Scottish Budget last month should not drive interest away from the Scottish market.

According to Mr Mackay, the Scottish Government will introduce Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) relief to first-time buyers on the first £175,000 of the purchase price. This means that around 80% of first-time buyers will now pay no LBTT.

However, the current threshold for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) throughout the rest of the UK is £300,000, meaning buyers south of the border won’t face such extreme levels of taxation.

Carl Warden from Bell Ingram

Carl Warden, senior associate for estate agency Bell Ingram, said: ‘The Budget will not particularly help English buyers settle in Scotland, but realistically it shouldn’t affect it massively because Scotland still offers great value for money.’

This figure has remained consistent over the past few years, despite the outcome of major events including the Scottish Referendum.

Carl continued: ‘After the referendum, a lot of English people were sensitive. They have gradually come back to the market and it is now back to the level it was before.

‘However, uncertainty over property tax has not helped, indeed it is acting as a dis-incentive to move. People aren’t always aware that the rates are higher and are sensitive to the Land and Building Transaction Tax.

‘However, buyers from England who are drawn to the Scottish market base their move mainly on employment, their age and their family arrangements.

Homes in Edinburgh are popular with southern buyers

‘Those looking for investment, look to ‘safe havens’ like Edinburgh which offers properties worth over £1million – but provide so much more property for their money than the hotspots in the South East. For families, in particular, the quality of schools available plays a significant role in the area in which they choose to live.

‘These are just some of the reasons English buyers have gravitated towards the Scottish market, resulting in 25% of housing sales.’

Based in Perth, Bell Ingram manages 500,000 hectares across the UK on behalf of public, private and corporate clients.

Established 117 years ago, Bell Ingram employs 130 professional staff across 11 UK offices including: farm, estate and forestry managers; chartered surveyors, estate agents, architects, planners, and building surveyors; and tourism, GIS mapping, and renewable energy specialists.