Fall in deals may impact on Budget
Slump in million pound homes sold in Scotland
Top end sales are in decline in Scotland
Wealthy Scots are struggling to sell their homes, according to new data which may influence tax decisions in next week’s Scottish budget.
The number of houses in Scotland sold for more than £1 million fell by more than a third (35%) in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.
Bank of Scotland research found that 53 homes were sold this price bracket in in the first half of 2017, compared to 81 over the same period a year earlier.
This continues a decline in prime property sales, with 120 sold in the same period in Scotland in 2015. The fall in sales is the steepest in Britain which has seen only a 1% overall drop.
Edinburgh saw the biggest fall in million pound homes sales in Scotland, with 19 (38%) fewer in the first part of the year compared to the same period last year. The capital accounts for more than half of all million pound property sales in the country.
Only five out of 12 local authority districts in Scotland saw an increase in sales of million pound homes during the period compared to the first half of 2016. East Dunbartonshire recorded three sales during the period, compared to none a year earlier.
Other areas with modest increases include Perth and Kinross (2), Dundee City (1), Highlands (1) and Midlothian (1). East Lothian and Glasgow City are the two areas with the next highest number of million pound property sales from this market segment and saw no change from this time last year, both accounting for 8% of Scottish sales.
London also saw a decrease, with million pound home sales falling by 7% from 4,230 to 3,940. The East Midlands (down by 27%) and Wales (down by 31%) also experienced significant decreases in the number of purchases of premium-priced properties.
Donald Gateley, head of private banking – Scotland said: “Whilst sales of million pound properties across Great Britain have experienced a small dip, this has been more acute in Scotland due to fewer homes in this category.
“There are a number of factors at play here, with uncertainty in the market, interest rates and economic stability all having a bearing on people’s appetite to buy and sell high-end properties.
“With the Office for Budget Responsibility revising down forecasts for house prices and housing transactions we expect this slowing to continue in Scotland into the New Year.”
Other analysts say the land and buildings transaction tax threshold is a deterrent to those attempting transactions at the top end of the market.
The Scottish Property Federation said in a report in September that selling agents were reporting a significant fall in higher value properties coming to market – reducing economic activity and adding pressure on house prices.
Number of £1m+ sales: