Tour of duty

It seems like the concept of a UK Stamp Duty Land Tax has become obsolete. Yesterday, according to Steve Morris in the Guardian,

The first new Welsh tax for almost 800 years is to be outlined in a bill expected to be introduced on Monday…The land transaction tax would replace stamp duty land tax from April 2018 if the bill becomes law.

The tax rates are not going to be announced until Spring 2018. Embarrassingly, I hadn’t even realised that Scotland had already introduced a Land and Buildings Transaction Tax replacing SDLT from 1 April 2015.  The rates are different to the rest of the UK and may well be different to the Welsh levels after 2018.

Not surprisingly, political devolution has produced institutional divergence rather than convergence in some aspects of real estate markets and planning systems.  Scotland has long had major differences in is landlord and tenant legislation – most notably in rights of business tenants to renew.  In terms of the housing market, Scotland and England provide a glaring example of how very different transaction processes (methods of sale, transaction execution, brokerage models) can operate within a single highly integrated economy.

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