Mortgage market recovery in Scotland

27th October 2020

At the height of lockdown, dire predictions of economic disaster, huge job losses and a deep property market slump were relentless. It seemed there was no good news to be found.

While uncertainty still prevails, sparks of hope are beginning to creep in. The July Residential Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed that a massive +100% of Scottish respondents experienced an increase in new buyer enquiries in July, while +79% saw a rise in newly agreed sales1.

LBTT cut a driving factor

The July property boom can largely be attributed to the nine-month Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) cut introduced by the Scottish Government on 15 July. The tax break, which will temporarily raise the threshold at which no LBTT is paid on property purchases (except surcharged buy-to-let and second homes) from £145,000 to £250,000 until 31 March 2021, is also reported to be behind a significant hike in demand for properties in the £500k–£750k bracket2. Properties within this price range have suddenly become affordable to many more aspiring buyers due to the thousands of pounds they stand to save on LBTT.

Confidence returns for first-time buyers

First-time buyers were unarguably the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with lenders withdrawing hundreds of mortgage products designed for buyers with lower deposits in the months following the outbreak. However, data shows that mortgage searches among this group are now on the rise, suggesting that confidence is finally returning3.

Get your search underway

If you want to find a mortgage and take advantage of the LBTT cut, then don’t delay. Finding a suitable mortgage can be challenging, especially in the current climate – which is why we’re here. We can assess the various mortgage products available and advise on which is best suited to your circumstances.

1RICS, 2020

2Countrywide Scotland, 2020

3 Twenty7Tec, 2020

As a mortgage is secured against your home or property, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up mortgage repayments.