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Finance Minister announces new measures to boost housing market
Finance Minister announces new measures to boost housing market

Kate Forbes has announced new measures designed to boost activity in the housing market.


Following Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that there would be no Stamp Duty payable on the purchase of properties up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland, the Scottish Government has responded - but just not yet!


The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes, MSP, announced on 9 July 2020 that there would be no Land & Buildings Transaction Tax payable on any residential property purchase up to the value of £250,000. This is an increase from the threshold of £145,000 for home movers and from £175,000 for first-time buyers.


This also means a saving of around £2,100 for those buying residential property in excess of £250,000.


It’s estimated that, when it comes into place, 8 out of 10 buyers will not pay any Land & Building Transaction Tax.


However, whilst the Stamp Duty provisions in England and Northern Ireland come into place immediately, the changes in Scotland will not come into effect right away. Kate Forbes advised that a change in legislation is needed before the increase in the threshold can take effect. We currently do not know when this will be and that may well have a dampening effect on the housing market.


Once introduced, this change will last until 31 March 2021. You should also be aware that this change does not affect the Additional Dwelling Supplement which will continue be charged at 4% on any additional residential property purchased.


The Finance Secretary also announced an additional £50m is to be allocated to the First Home Fund – one of the Scottish Government’s flagship policies to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder.


There are now a number of Help to Buy schemes available in Scotland, most of which focus on the new build market. You can explore the options available by clicking here if you’re looking for help to move house.