Latest News

Campaign leads to extended Stamp Duty holiday

03 March 2021

The Chancellor has listened to Propertymark’s calls to avoid a cliff-edge deadline to the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday in the UK Government’s budget, today, 3 March 2021. The nil rate band up to £500,000 will end on 30 June, instead of March. A transitional nil rate band up to £250,000 will be in place until September and then return to £125,000 from October. Read More...

Property expert Nathan Emerson becomes Interim CEO of Propertymark

24 February 2021

The Board of Propertymark has asked Nathan Emerson to assume the role of Interim CEO with immediate effect. Nathan’s appointment will provide great stability for the organisation, its staff and its members and will ensure that the operational delivery of its new and exciting strategy is taken forward. Read More...

Increased asymptomatic testing for anyone unable to work from home

23 February 2021

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is expanding asymptomatic COVID-19 testing which will be available for workforces via two different routes: either the workplace or community testing. Read More...

Concerns raised over UK Government mortgage proposals

17 February 2021

Propertymark has responded to the UK Government’s consultation on ‘Improving home energy performance through lenders’ by raising concerns that the proposed targets are unrealistic, too simplistic and could deter people from moving home. Read More...

 

 

Propertymark’s Scottish Parliament election manifesto focuses on 12 key areas

Tuesday 23 February 2021

Ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections scheduled to take place on 6 May 2021, Propertymark has released its key asks to support the housing sector.

Housing can play a key part in the economic and social recovery after the pandemic and the next Government should embark on an impact assessment to improve housing needs based on costs, quality, design, and the role of housing in community life. The pandemic and national lockdown measures have highlighted housing needs and shone a light on space, local amenities, and connectivity.

Regulation of sales agents

Currently, estate agents across the UK are not required by law to be licensed or qualified. Estate agents are principally regulated by the Estate Agents Act 1979 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. In addition, since 1 October 2008, all estate agents in the UK who engage in residential estate agency work are required to belong to an approved redress scheme under the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007.

Therefore, it is essential that the future Government supports the regulation of estate agents, which will offer huge potential to professionalise the sector, eradicate bad practices and provide a smoother consumer experience. This will also ensure the profession understands the recommendations of the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) Working Group as it is vital that all sales agents are licensed, adhere to a strict code of practice, and hold at least a Level 6 qualification.

Review LBTT bands

Whilst policy makers may believe that those buying prime property are less sensitive to tax changes, sales in the middle and high end of the market have slowed since the introduction of LBTT. The rates should be reviewed to support home buying particularly for those looking to climb the housing ladder and second steppers. This should include amending the bands to extend the five per cent levy to properties worth up to £500,000, halving the amount of tax that buyers of homes in that price range currently pay.

Oppose rent control

The introduction of stricter rent control measures could lead to a reduction in supply, which will have a negative impact on housing quality. The legislation introduced in December 2017 under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 already contains a limit on rent increases and Propertymark calls for further rent controls are not introduced.

Action on cladding and fire safety

The £97.149m Building Safety Fund allocated at the UK Budget in March 2020 to support people living in multi-storey residential buildings should be utilised by the next Scottish Government. It is important that dangerous cladding on existing buildings is replaced and communal fire alarm and sprinkler systems are introduced. Without action, many properties will be unsaleable and not adequate to be rented out.

Energy efficiency

Housing in Scotland compromises a range of property and building types and the future Government should take a holistic approach to improve the energy efficiency of housing. It must look beyond a one-size-fits-all approach and develop proposals that work with the different age, condition, and size of properties across all tenures. 

Empty homes

More action is needed on empty homes as they can lower land values and make it harder to sell other properties nearby. Bringing empty homes back into use can ease the pressure on housing stock and help improve local communities. Greater incentives should be provided for people to bring empty properties back into use and give more support to local authorities to help them provide dedicated resources to tackle the issue.

Investment in housing

Five key areas have been defined by Propertymark that the next Scottish Government must do to provide investment for all housing tenures and to boost the supply of rented housing.

  • Commitment to a significant programme of building social housing will ensure that renting is more affordable and secure for all renters.
  • Reduce the 4 per cent surcharge on additional homes to encourage further investment in the PRS
  • Build housing for older people and provide incentives to downsize
  • Financial support for energy efficiency improvements
  • Reintroduce the Help to Buy Affordable New Build scheme

Read the full manifesto