Three bidders for key site
Tiger facing deadline decision on £50m Haymarket sale
A deadline is nearing that will determine the future of the next big property project in Edinburgh.
Tiger Developments must decide by the end of the month if it intends to take up pre-emption rights on the £200m scheme at Haymarket.
The former railway goods yard has been undeveloped for 50 years and was latterly used as a car park.
Work to strengthen tunnels has been completed and plans have been presented for 370,000 sq ft of offices, as well as retail and two hotels.
But Tiger’s troubled joint venture partner Interserve put its stake up for sale in February.
Property insiders are unsure if Tiger is able to match offers for the land from three bidders who are thought to have pitched around £50m.
M&G Real Estate and a Middle East group are among the bidders.
LBTT revenues rise
Figures released by Revenue Scotland and analysed by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) have shown that annual revenues from the devolved Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) exceeded the Scottish Government’s 2017/18 forecast.
LBTT generated £568.9m between April 2017 and March 2018, 12% more than the government’s expected revenue of £507m.
The 2017/18 revenue is in stark contrast to the previous year’s (2016/17) revenue of £468.6m, which undershot Scottish Government estimates by some £69m.
LBTT revenue from residential sales were the biggest factor behind the increase in LBTT revenue. Tax take from home sales totalled £260.4m, some 23% more than the forecast of £211m. Revenues increased steadily to a peak in August 2017, when they levelled out at sums consistently higher than the previous year.
The Additional Dwellings Supplement (second home tax) also significantly exceeded government expectations with provisional revenues of £107.3m, nearly 50% above expectations.
However, revenue from commercial transactions ended 10% below Scottish Government estimates – despite sizable spikes in revenue figures in November and December last year, the annual figure reflects the fragility in the commercial market and wider economy. This meant that the Scottish Government fell £22.9m short of its forecast of £224m for commercial LBTT.
Significantly, the Scottish Government expects to see LBTT bring in £588m in 2018/19 – £19.1m (3.5%) more than was generated in 2017/18.
David Melhuish: government will be relieved (photo by Terry Murden)
Reacting to the new LBTT data, David Melhuish, director of the SPF, commented: “After falling considerably short of forecasted LBTT revenues in 2016/17, the Scottish Government will no doubt be relieved that 2017/18 saw revenue exceed forecasts.
“While the residential market has seen a strong year, the commercial market remains subdued in Scotland, which led to lower than expected commercial LBTT revenue. It is important that the Scottish Government continues to make the Scottish economy as competitive as possible and give businesses the stability they need.
“Looking ahead, the Scottish Government is counting on LBTT to generate £588m in this current fiscal year (2018/19). Most of the increased revenue expected to come from the residential sector, with expectations that revenue from house sales will be £45m (17%) higher than in 2017/18.
“However, with reports of fewer houses being brought to market, there remains a question over the ability of the market to deliver the increased transactions needed to meet this forecast.”