Following Phillip Hammond’s recent announcement in the budget of a tax break for first-time buyers which could see savings of up to £5,000 for buyers in England it would appear that the Scottish system is being considered ahead of the new budget proposals to be announced in the coming weeks.
Responding to queries during First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon has suggested that a direct copy of the Chancellor’s proposals would not be appropriate but that alternatives were being assessed.
In Scotland, the current system of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) means that no LBTT is payable on purchases up to a value of £145,000. Ms Sturgeon confirmed a tax break on purchases up to a value of £175,000 would help an equivalent number of first- time buyers in Scotland as the average property prices are significantly lower than in the English market.
The draft budget for 2018-19 will be published on December 14th and it will be interesting to see whether there are any proposals to amend the current LBTT system to secure any additional help for Scottish first-time buyers.