Second home ownership plunges by a third in Scotland as it soars elsewhere, hitting young people

Photo: Alamy

In June, BBC Business reported:

The number of British people who own a second home, buy-to-let or overseas property has doubled since 2001, says think tank the Resolution Foundation. While the number of millennials who own a home continues to fall, one in 10 people now own an additional property. Just 37% of people born in the 1980s managed to buy a home at the age of 29, compared with half of those born in the 1960s.

Meanwhile in Scotland:

The owning of second homes has declined by just more than a third in eight years, according to new research. Between 2010 and 2018 there has been an overall fall of 34%, although the picture varies significantly across Scotland. In both Eastern Scotland and South Western Scotland there was a decline of 43% over the period, while North Eastern Scotland was down 41%.

Dear readers, though I like the sound of it, I’ve got no idea why this is happening so would welcome your thoughts.

Published by johnrobertson834

Retired Professor of Media Politics Not-for-profit independent political analysis

5 thoughts on “Second home ownership plunges by a third in Scotland as it soars elsewhere, hitting young people

  1. Could it be because the statistics include many that were born in the 60s bought cheap council houses under the right to buy, which no longer exists in Scotland?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi John – I don’t imagine this is a full explanation of the phenomenon reported regarding the welcome regularisation of the 2nd Home/Holiday Home market in Scotland – but – I suspect it is part of the picture.

    It involves 2 gently progressive pieces of legislation (softly, softly) which have been drafted by the SNP Scottish Govt and passed by the YES majority Scottish Parlt. Namely – the Additional Dwelling Supplement (initially 3% – now 4%) for the LBTT on 2nd/Holiday homes. Next – The authority passed to Local Councils to drop the previous automatic Council Tax reduction for 2nd Homes and replace it with a variable surcharge. Details below:

    The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2016 (LBTT(A)(S)A 2016) was granted Royal Assent on 24 March 2016. Introduced on 1 April 2016, an additional amount of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), known as the Additional Dwelling Supplement (“the ADS”), is due on the purchase of additional dwellings in Scotland, such as buy-to-let properties and second homes.

    ADS rates for transactions prior to 25 January 2019
    ADS is 3% of the ‘relevant consideration’ (usually the purchase price).

    ADS rates for transactions on or after 25 January 2019
    ADS is 4% of the ‘relevant consideration’ (usually the purchase price)

    Council tax reform legislation to tackle empty second homes.

    Legislation to remove the automatic council tax discount for second homes has been laid in Parliament, paving the way for further reforms due to take effect from April 2017.

    This change will give councils the option of offering no discount for second homes, arming them with another lever to encourage better use of housing stock in their areas. If all councils were to remove discounts they could generate up to £3 million of additional revenue across the country.

    Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “Giving everyone access to a good quality, affordable home is a priority for this Government. And part of that is making sure we use all the housing we currently have.

    Properties which are exempt include:

    • property which is empty, for example because the owner has died. In order to be exempt, the property has to be unoccupied and unfurnished. The exemption applies for a maximum of six months. Local authorities can then offer an empty homes discount of 10 to 50 per cent for homes that are unoccupied for 6-12 months. After being empty for one year, the council can place an additional council tax surcharge on the property. This surcharge can be up to 100 per cent of the council tax charge. The surcharge will not be applied if the property is being actively marketed for sale or rent and has been empty for less than two years.

    NOTE: The ADS on the Holiday Home is paid whether the principal home is in Scotland or elsewhere in the world (trying to capture, ever so slightly, the movement of ‘borderless’ capital).

    NOTE: These sensible reforms to gently regulate the previously Wild West unregulated Scottish Holiday Homes market (with its potential highly negative elements) were only possible because an SNP Govt was elected. Progressive parties have to be in office to enable progressive legislation. It doesn’t happen otherwise. It can seem like a long, slow grind – but if we don’t get the SNP into political office and keep them there then this whole project of the new and better Scotland gets delayed by years. In my maturity I don’t have the years to waste! – Let’s get out and VOTE – and get the SNP overwhelmingly elected throughout Scotland today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just noticed figures for NHS England targets – worst ever. For first time ever A&E targets missed by ALL hospitals.
    Every single figure is getting worse. Figures not allowed to be released yesterday “because it was a polling day”. FFS the most important time to release these sorts of figures is when people have some power, their once every few years right to choose who governs them.
    No comparable figures for NHS Scotland, but I’ve checked the BBC Scotland website and nothing there, so I guess no comparable figures or else the BBC liars would be jumping up and down shouting “esssennpeebad”


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