Scottish property sales produce ‘record’ revenues for government

David Alexander

SCOTTISH property sales have produced ‘record’ revenues for the Scottish Government, according to property firm DJ Alexander Ltd, part of the Lomond Group.

The lettings and estate agency said the ‘booming’ property market has resulted in bumper income for the Holyrood government.

The latest land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) figures for the whole of 2021 reveal that £410.1 million was received from homeowners in Scotland last year – a 77.1% increase compared to 2020’s £231.5 million and a 45.7% rise compared to the £281.4 million raised in 2019 pre-pandemic.

The second home and buy to let market raised £166.7 million in 2021 – a rise of 66.5% on the £100.1 million reported in 2020 and 45.9% higher than the £114.2 million revenue in 2019.

David Alexander, CEO of DJ Alexander Scotland, said, “These figures highlight how lively the Scottish market has been over the last year. The large increase between 2020 and 2021 is to be expected given the slump in sales at the start of the pandemic, but it is the substantial growth compared with 2019 which is so striking.

“To have LBTT revenue almost 50% higher in sales to both homeowners, and second homeowners, buy-to-let, and property investors indicates a continued demand in the market which is at levels we haven’t seen before. The last year has seen the Scottish Government receive £576.8m through LBTT from all property buyers compared to £395.6m in 2019. The last six months has had the majority of the highest ever levels of LBTT paid since the tax began.

“It is unlikely that this level of sales will continue at similar levels in the future, but I can see strong demand in the lettings sector being maintained in the coming year. The reason is that many EU citizens who are legally allowed to work in the UK returned to their home countries at the start of Covid-19. I think that they will now return to the UK to live and work once the impact of the pandemic recedes in this country and in the EU. Therefore, it is extremely likely that we will see demand in the private rented sector remain very high for the foreseeable future.”