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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Stamp duty replacement leads to slump in house prices

Scottish house prices have seen their sharpest fall in six years as the ‘transaction tax boom’ has come to an end in spectacular style.

During March there was a rush of high-value sales as buyers tried to beat the introduction of the new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in April. Some 83 properties worth £1m or more were sold in March, compared to 12 in a typical month, with 46 of them changing hands in the three days running up to the introduction of LBTT on April 1.

However, new figures show no properties were sold for more than £1m in April. 

Overall, average prices fell 1.6 per cent in the month, a fall equal to £3,000, and the typical price of a house in Scotland now stands at £184,970.

This represents the largest monthly fall since March 2009, according to the Your Move/Acadata House Price Index for April.

"After a spectacular 9.4per cent leap during March ahead of the new land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT), average Scottish house prices subsequently fell 1.6per cent in April - equal to £3,000. This is the sharpest fall we've seen since March 2009 when the housing market was at the lowest ebb of the housing crisis” says Christine Campbell, Your Move managing director in Scotland. 

She says the "high-end freeze" in transactions has also cooled annual growth, which slipped from 16.3 per cent in March to 14.6 per cent in April.

Meanwhile Edinburgh solicitors’ centre ESPC says its website is now the only property portal in Scotland offering the ability to search for homes by school catchment areas.

For every property advertised within the Scottish capital, Edinburghm the espc.com website will show the council catchment schools available. 

Late last year ESPC began listing school catchment details for every property in the capital. This has now been further developed to allow buyers to search for all available listings within a catchment area directly from the homepage.

Whilst other property portals do show the proximity of local schools, they do not include the fact that often the closest school is not necessarily the catchment school for that property. 

In addition to offering local school catchment details, ESPC is also the only portal to publish closing dates to ensure that as many buyers as possible have time to view and make offers on properties. This feature is available on properties across all ESPC regions.

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