Scottish housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel Homes has responded to the UK government’s announcement on stamp duty by announcing that it is following suit to help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder.
In his budget announcement on Wednesday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond made first time buyers in England exempt from stamp duty on the first £300,000 of the purchase price.
From today, Mactaggart & Mickel Homes said it will pay the LBTT, the Scottish equivalent of stamp duty, for first-time buyers purchasing homes priced at up to £300,000 until the end of April 2018.
According to the housebuilder, a family business with over 92 years of design and construction expertise with developments in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Glasgow, Ayrshire and the Clyde coast, a first-time buyer in Scotland can currently expect to pay £4,600 of LBTT on a £300,000 property.
Director Joanne Casey said: “Although the Scottish budget won’t be revealed until mid-December, we have taken the decision to act immediately and pay the LBTT for first-time buyers on homes priced up to £300,000. This will help more first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder, by saving them up to £4,600 when buying a Mactaggart & Mickel home.”
The firm’s announcement comes a day after a First Minister’s Questions session during which Nicola Sturgeon hinted that she would not copy the Chancellor’s move outright, but that alternative option was being examined.
She told MSPs: “As we finalise our budget in the next couple of weeks we will consider whether or not it is appropriate to give any further assistance to first time buyers.”
She indicated a tax break on purchases of up to £175,000 would help an equivalent level of first time buyers in Scotland as the £300,000 figure would in England.
The current threshold for paying LBTT is £145,000.