Help turn the good news into better news, Nicola.

01/11/2018 09:22:36

There’s good news and bad news for Glasgow homeowners in the latest UK Cities House Price Index.

The good news is that property prices in the city grew at a faster rate than almost anywhere else in the country last year.

The bad news is that property prices in the city grew at a faster rate than almost anywhere else in the country last year.

How you view the statistics, of course, depends entirely on where you sit on the property ladder.

If you’re close to or at retirement age and looking to downsize, or if you’re selling a second property, it’s great news - your asset appreciated by 6.2% in the past 12 months, faster than any other UK city with the exception of Liverpool, Birmingham and Leicester.

Prices increased in the 12 months to September at almost twice the rate of the previous year, giving Glasgow the UK’s second most buoyant property market, only slightly behind Liverpool.

If you already own your own home and you’re looking to buy a bigger property, you’ll have mixed feelings.

You’ll certainly get more for your home than you would have done this time last year, but then again, you’ll pay more for your next property, assuming you’re looking to move within the city.

If you’re selling your home in Glasgow and moving to another city, Newcastle for example, then you’ll still feel pretty pleased with yourself, as property prices there increased by only 2.8% last year.

Most aggrieved, will be first-time-buyers who may have spent the past year saving for a deposit on a starter flat only to discover they’ll now have to pay up to 6.2% more than they might have done a year ago.

It’s an unfortunate reality that taking the first step onto the housing ladder is often the most difficult and that most of the time, movement in the market disadvantages first time buyers.

That’s not always the case – if you’re looking to buy your first home in Aberdeen this month, you’ll find that property prices there are, on average, 4.4% lower than they were this time last year.

Nevertheless, government should do everything it can to help the current generation of new homebuyers and it was encouraging to see the Chancellor extend stamp duty relief to a further group in Monday’s budget.

The new measure will mean first-time buyers in England who buy a shared-ownership home will be exempt from paying the tax on homes worth up to £500,000, and it will be backdated for anyone who has bought such a property in the last year.

You may recall that Phillip Hammond introduced stamp duty relief for the majority of first-time buyers  in last year’s budget, a measure replicated by Nicola Sturgeon for first time buyers in Scotland who now don’t have to pay the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) – equivalent to stamp duty – on properties worth up to £175,000.

There are more than 200,000 shared ownership properties in the UK, many of them in Scotland, and it is to be hoped that the First Minister extends the same benefits to first time buyers north of the border as those that now apply in the south.

 

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