Scottish finance minister John Swinney is to introduce a 3% surcharge on the full purchase price of all ‘additional properties – buy to let and holiday homes – from 1 April 2016.
Scotland had been the only part of the UK to which a similar 3% stamp duty surcharge had not been applied by Chancellor George Osborne in his autumn statement.
Swinney now says that from April, for properties purchased for more than £40,000, a similar 3% surcharge will be levied on the whole purchase price of the home, above £40,000.
This will be in addition to the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax charged in the usual way. LBTT is the Scottish replacement for stamp duty, introduced earlier this year.
“This will have implications for current landlords looking to sell as well as act as yet another deterrent to would-be landlords thinking about the market as an investment opportunity. This measure, like the LBTT rises introduced earlier this year, is also a wealth tax on owners as buyers of buy-to-lets will seek to pass on the extra purchase costs by reducing the price they are prepared to pay,” claims Bob Cherry, partner at lettings and estate agency CKD Galbraith.
Rural agency Bell Ingram say the tax hike “could wreak havoc on the traditionally robust rural holiday home sector north of the border.”
Will Banham, an associate at Bell Ingram’s Oban office, said: “The second homes sector is a crucial part of the property market across much of rural Scotland. It’s been a significant factor in supporting property value and transaction levels through the downturn. At the moment the market is fairly static, so an increased tax burden on second home buyers will almost certainly force property values down and could have a chilling effect across the entire rural property market.”