Forgive me but this has nothing to do with Brexit and the trials and tribulations of Mrs May but rather our Scottish Budget. What a day to hide bad news!
Did I hear anything in the news about ADS? Not a jot.
Hidden away, this increase in ADS to an eye watering 4% could be a watershed moment for the lettings industry. Tied together with tax changes and legislative requirements, 2018 may well go down as the year that investors decided that enough was enough and start selling stock. Even the haven of Airbnb is showing signs of a cooling down in London since the 90 day rule came in - preventing landlords renting property for more than 90 days - Edinburgh next?
I want someone to tell me why have they raised ADS to 4%?
Do they think that there is such a problem that first time buyers are being priced out of the market by landlords whose pockets appear to be stuffed with more cash than they know what to do with? I just cannot see it. From my own experience and from speaking to estate agents and letting agents, I just do not see that this is a problem. Landlords have to make the yield work and if they pay too much for the property then the numbers do not work. It's a business and if the numbers don't work then it does not make financial sense to invest in that property.
Do they think that by removing landlords hoovering up low price property then the first time buyers will be able to buy that stock. The stock that these landlords purchase is not necessarily in areas where the aspirational first time buyer wants to buy.
The government need income. I get that. What they need to do is look at LBTT. Reduce the mid price LBTT to encourage these owners to sell. This will release stock for second time buyers to purchase which will in turn release much needed first time buyer stock. This will re-energise the whole market meaning more transactions leading to more revenue for the government. At the moment owners of mid sized properties cannot move up the food chain because the LBTT makes it prohibitivley expensive. They would rather build an extension than move, spending the LBTT payment on the architect than give it to Sturgeon and her cronies.
And I haven't even started on income tax...............................................