Carl Warden, a partner at Bell Ingram
Carl Warden, a partner at Bell Ingram

2019 re-writes property rulebook with a record start

The Perth and Kinross property market enjoyed a record-breaking start to 2019 despite uncertainty over Brexit.

However Carl Warden, a partner at Bell Ingram and one of the country’s leading property experts, has warned that a shortage of housing stock means that the situation is unlikely to continue.

Carl explained: ‘While spring not winter is usually regarded as the best time of year to sell, 2019 is re-writing the property rulebook.

‘We’ve seen a fast start to the year with unprecedented transaction numbers. Over the January/February period we’ve had 73 viewings which have resulted in 18 completed transactions. But this cannot be sustained and what’s going out the door isn’t coming back in.

‘Demand is high, but housing stock is low and the choice of properties is limited.’

On a brighter note, developers are reaping the rewards of the housing stock shortage.

Buyers are snapping up high value new properties almost as soon as they hit the market, while nervous sellers continue to sit tight amid uncertainty over Brexit and the continuing impact of LBTT (Land Building Transaction Tax).

He continued: ‘I recently marketed a high-end steadings conversion, ranging in price from £369,000 to £599,000, and all four properties were under offer within a fortnight of going live.’

Carl Warden, a partner at Bell Ingram

Carl believes high LBTT costs continue to be a major factor in dwindling stock levels as people are put off by the high costs.
LBTT was introduced in Scotland in April 2015 in place of UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), with the aim of creating a tax charge that is more proportionate to the actual price of the property.

However, stats from Revenue Scotland show that for the period April to July 2018, residential sales were down £1.8 million against the same period last year.

He concluded: ‘Around 50% of sales in Scotland are below the £145,000 mark, where LBTT isn’t applicable, however, as you go up the market, things start to slow down a little, as people realise the huge amount extra they have to pay to buy a property.

‘For the first time since the recession in 2008, agents are having to actively look for stock as people are priced out of the market.’Bell Ingram’s role as a national land and estate agency firm means it is able to provide a unique perspective on the varied outcomes of the tax, informed by a wide network of agency offices across the country.

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