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Scottish agents leading the way for sales - claim

Estate agents in Scotland are bucking the sales slowdown trend, Homesearch claims.

The property data and prospecting platform, which recently launched north of the border, analysed which agents in Scotland, by postcode area, have experienced the best or toughest market conditions.

It found that estate agents in Scotland have seen a 26% rise in year-on-year sales volumes on average, compared to just 13% in Harrogate - the highest area increase in sales across England and Wales. 

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The Outer Hebrides (HS postcode) is the best-selling area for agents in Scotland and has experienced a 62% increase in sales transactions for the same period. 

The study aimed to identify which postcodes are the most and least lucrative to estate agents in Scotland.

Edinburgh ranked first nationally, with more than £4.2bn of property sales generated by agents in the city in the past 12 months.

The research found that Kirkcaldy estate agents have seen a 10.6% (£17,475) increase in average house prices year-on-year – the highest in Scotland.

Conversely, Edinburgh saw the biggest fall (4.4% / £12,855) in average house prices year-on-year, although 81% of areas across Scotland have seen a positive uplift in sale prices.

Speed of sale is also key to estate agent businesses in Scotland, with properties taking 56 days on average to sell subject to contract from the date they went on the market.

Sam Hunter, chief operating officer at Homesearch, said: “It’s very clear from our data that the housing market in Scotland is buoyant compared to other areas of the UK where 72% have seen a decrease in sales transactions.

“At a time when house prices have risen significantly in the last 12 months, the challenge facing estate agent businesses - that aren’t experiencing rapid growth - is mainly a chronic shortage of sellable housing stock, with 29 buyers on average competing for every one property on the market. 

“Those agents will clearly have to work harder than ever to stimulate the market and win new instructions if they are to drive higher sales transactions.”  The best performing Scottish postcodes for sales agreed were:
 
1.    Outer Hebrides (HS postcode): +62%
2.    Aberdeen (AB postcode): +42%
3.    Edinburgh (EH postcode): +30%
4.    Renfrewshire (PA postcode): +27.7%
5.    Perth (PH postcode): +27.2%
6.    Glasgow (G postcode): +25.7%
7.    Dumfries and Galloway (DG postcode): +25.5%
8.    Dundee (DD postcode): +23.6%
9.    Inverness (IV postcode): +21%
10.    Kilmarnock (KA postcode): +21%
11.    Kirkcaldy (KY postcode): +19%
12.    Kirkwall (KW postcode): +18%
13.    Falkirk (FK postcode): +17.6%
14.    Galashiels (TD postcode): +16.6 %
15.    Motherwell (ML postcode): +16.1%
 
 

It comes as research by Scottish agency DJ Alexander found that 100 homeowners in Scotland paid £84,000 on average to buy property during June.

Analysis by the Lomond Group-backed brand found that the Scottish Government received £8.4m during June alone from 100 home buyers in Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).

A further £22.6m was paid by 1,360 buyers last month working out at an average of £16,617 per property.

In total 1,460 buyers contributed £31m in tax purchasing properties worth over £325,001 in June equivalent to 82% of the total money collected, excluding additional dwelling supplements (ADS), that month in LBTT payments.

Some buyers will have paid even more as these figures exclude those who were liable for the additional dwelling supplement which amounted to a further £15.1m in LBTT. 

An additional dwelling supplement of 4% on top of LBTT is paid by those purchasing a second home, property investors, and landlords. For these purchases, for example, a £350,000 property is liable to a £22,350 tax charge.

Over the past 12 months, LBTT has raised £605.1m for the Scottish Government which is a 64.5% increase on the pre-pandemic figure of £367.9m to June 2019 and is 35.8% up on the £445.3m figure for the same period last year.

David Alexander, chief executive of DJ Alexander Scotland, said: “The higher taxation extends to everyone including first time buyers as nothing is paid in England on the first £300,000 purchase price whereas in Scotland LBTT starts at £175,000. 
“For ordinary homebuyers, a 10% charge is applied above £325,001 in Scotland whereas this rate does not begin until £925,001 in England.

“There is more than a suspicion that the Scottish Government regards the homebuyer as a cash cow to be milked as much as possible to raise substantial revenues. 

“Nobody would deny that it is legitimate to charge a tax on buying a home, but it is questionable whether such high levels of tax on property purchases is viable or acceptable in the long term. We want Scotland to be a welcoming environment which attracts the brightest and the best and allows them to build a life without excessively high taxation on the homes they buy.”

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