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Decision helps builders

SPF welcomes exemption on surcharge

David MelhuishThe Scottish Property Federation (SPF) has welcomed the Holyrood Government’s decision to exempt transactions of six or more homes from the additional 3% land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) surcharge.

The government proposed the supplement on the total price of the property for all relevant transactions above £40,000 in addition to the LBTT rates.

The SPF advocated an exemption in its evidence to the Finance Committee in order to support large scale private rental sector investors, SME housebuilders, and property entrepreneurs.

Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary John Swinney said the aim of the bill was to maximise the opportunities for first-time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder in Scotland.

He told MSPs: “I certainly recognise the need to balance support for home ownership and first-time buyers without discouraging significant and beneficial investment in residential property for rent.”

David Melhuish (pictured), director of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “We are pleased that the Scottish Government has listened to our concerns and brought in the exemption.

“Significant large scale investment by institutional funds has the potential to really help to boost housing supply in Scotland, and this move will particularly help the emerging build to rent sector.

“Without these recommendations, SME house-builders who were devastated by the financial crash, would have been severely constrained in attracting finance and investment to take forward future development projects.”

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