Yesterday’s introduction of sweeping reforms to Stamp Duty Land Tax by the Chancellor certainly gives plenty to ponder for anybody considering purchasing property in Scotland.
The new graduated rates, which have already taken effect, are similar to the Scottish government’s Land & Buildings Transaction Tax which comes into force next April; the main difference is in the bands.
In Scotland the rate jumps from 2% to 10% for properties above £250,000 while in England properties above £250,000 to £925,000 attract an interim rate of 5%. While the higher threshold for property tax (£135,000 in Scotland and £125,000 in England) mitigates this difference to some extent, anybody paying more than £254,000 in Scotland from April next year will be worse off than if they bought in England.
For a house costing £350,000 the buyer will have to pay £12,300 which is a whopping £4,800 higher than the rest of the UK. In fact, it’s £1,800 more than under the old Stamp Duty regime.
A quick check on the ESPC website this morning showed nearly 30 properties in the Dunfermline area at over £250,000 so if you are thinking about a move it may be worth buying sooner rather than later.