Property spike

Home buyers deliver record tax revenue

For sale, sold, homes, housing, property
Last year was a busy one for estate agents (pic: Terry Murden)

A surge in home buying over the past year has delivered record tax revenues for the Scottish government, according to new data.

The latest land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) figures published today for the whole of 2021 reveal that £410.1 million was received from homeowners in Scotland last year.

This was a 77.1% increase on 2020’s £231.5m and a 45.7% rise compared with the £281.4m raised in 2019. 

The second home and buy to let market is also booming with £166.7m raised in 2021 which was 66.5% greater than the 100.1m in 2020 and 45.9% higher than the £114.2m revenue in 2019. 

David Alexander, the chief executive officer of DJ Alexander Scotland, commented: “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.”



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