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New tax regime set to trigger record activity levels in Southside housing market at start of New Year

SHEPHERD Chartered Surveyors is predicting that the impending changes to Stamp Duty will trigger record levels of activity in the housing market in the Southside of Glasgow at the start of the New Year.

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Whereas, traditionally, it has been February/March before activity levels in the home market are restored after a festive seasonal lull, this year Martin Waite, partner at Shepherd’s Glasgow Southside office, anticipates that January will herald record activity levels.

“The introduction of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, which is set to replace stamp duty next April, is all set to shake up the property market,” he said.

“The tipping point will be £325,000 whereby, if you are buying a property for less than this amount, you will pay less tax and, if you are buying a property worth more than this figure, you will pay more tax following the introduction of the new regime.

“In the short term this is likely to create a strong demand for both vendors and buyers in the latter bracket to transact before the new regime takes effect. That’s why, in practical terms, we envisage a very quick and strong start to 2015.”

Waite said that the introduction of the new tax regime will also create a far fairer approach in the way the level of tax is calculated.

“In the current set up, the thresholds of £125,000, £250,000 and £500,000 have acted as a ceiling mechanism but the new system is a progressive tax and, hence, will remove the capping effect,” he explained.

Reflecting on the housing market in the Southside throughout 2014, Waite said it has been a strong year built on steady growth.

“We have not seen the significant swings like other part of the country, such as Aberdeen, but, instead, have seen a natural increase in activity which, in turn, has seen a steady and sustainable pattern of capital growth,” he said.

“Interest rates are certainly a positive factor and, whilst it is very likely they will not stay at the record low levels for long, it is envisaged they will increase at a very sensible pace.”

Waite added that the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), which asked various lifestyle questions of mortgage applicants when it was introduced last April, has since bedded in and, whilst it may mean there are more obstacles to securing a mortgage deal, has been introduced for a sound reason and, hence, has led to a greater feeling of stability to prevail in the market.

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