Date lodged: 9 March 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is making it difficult for first-time buyers in the Lothian parliamentary region to purchase a home because of the level of high house prices compared with other areas.
Answered by: Derek Mackay 21 March 2018
The Scottish Government’s reforms to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) are helping both first-time buyers and home movers across Scotland to purchase a home. Between April 2015 and October 2017, LBTT kept over 25,000 house purchases out of tax by setting a nil rate threshold of £145,000 which was £20,000 more than the nil rate threshold for UK Stamp Duty Land Tax. From June 2018, the Scottish Government plans to introduce a new £175,000 LBTT relief for first-time buyers. This will take 80% of first-time buyers out of tax altogether and will benefit 12,000 first-time buyers each year by up to £600.
In addition to these measures, the Scottish Government is implementing a range of housing policies to assist first-time buyers in the Lothian parliamentary region and elsewhere in Scotland as outlined in the answers to questions S5W-15194 and S5W-15195 on 15 March 2018. All answers to written Parliamentary Questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx