Scottish Government’s LBTT revenue drops for first time since May

25 Oct 2017

The Scottish Property Federation has analysed the latest official figures released by Revenue Scotland, revealing a fall in revenue of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) for the first time since May.

Despite this, largely due to the strength of the second homes tax (the Additional Dwelling Supplement), the government will be pleased that the overall revenue is better in the first half of 2017-18 than in the previous two years of LBTT.

The figures fell £2.1m in September to £49.8m due to a decrease in residential transactions and a fall in income from the Additional Dwellings Supplement.

Despite the decreased monthly revenue, compared to September in 2016, the total revenue has increased by £11.9m.

To date, 2017 has seen a total LBTT revenue of £281.6m, a significant rise compared to the same period in 2016/2017 of £222.9m and £183.4m in 2015/2016.

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, said: 

“September has seen the first fall in LBTT revenue since May. Although not by a huge amount, the fall was mainly due to a fall in revenue from higher value residential transactions in September. 

“We continue to be concerned that the high rate of tax (10%) which kicks in with properties valued between £325,000 and £750,000 is deterring would be sellers and consequently depressing the supply of these properties to the market – this 10% tax threshold should start from no less than £500,000 in our view.”

The SPF is also concerned at a lack of higher value transactions in the commercial property markets:

“The revenue from the commercial side of LBTT looks set to miss its £224m government forecast by a significant margin, having only accrued £79.2m in the first half of the tax year.

“The SPF remains concerned at these figures as Scotland’s commercial property market continues to show low levels of activity at the higher value levels. This suggests there is currently not enough depth to the markets and a lack of new property development in particular.”

Notes to Editor

A link to the SPF’s full report can be found here

About Scottish Property Federation

As a membership organisation the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) is the voice of Scotland’s real estate industry.  Established in 2007, SPF represents 185 organisations operating in Scotland.   We include among our members: property investors including major institutional funds, developers, landlords of commercial and residential property, and professional property consultants and advisers.  The SPF works closely with those who advise and decide on public policy in Scotland to ensure that they are aware of the consequences of their decisions for the property industry and wider economy.  

As part of the British Property Federation we also benefit from close links with the leading UK property companies and investors in the UK as well as the BPF's contacts with Westminster.

For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @ScotPropFed.