EU citizens with settled status in the UK, but who have stayed in their native countries during the pandemic, are likely to return here and boost the rental market in coming months.
That’s the view of a leading lettings agency chief who anticipates that their return will help keep demand high for rentals.
“I can see strong demand in the lettings sector being maintained in the coming year. The reason is that many EU citizens who are legally allowed to work in the UK returned to their home countries at the start of Covid-19” explains David Alexander, head of DJ Alexander, a property management firm within the Lomond Group.
“I think they will now return to the UK to live and work once the impact of the pandemic recedes in this country and the EU. Therefore, it is extremely likely that we will see demand in the private rented sector remain very high for the foreseeable future” he continues.
Alexander was making his comments after figures suggested that residential property sales have produced record revenues for the Scottish government.
The latest land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) figures, published at the end of last week, reveal that in 2021 some £410.1m was received from homeowners in Scotland.
That was a 77.1 per cent increase compared to 2020’s £231.5m and a 45.7 per cent rise compared to the £281.4m raised in 2019.
The second home and buy to let market is also booming with £166.7m raised in 2021 which was 66.5 per cent greater than the 100.1m in 2020 and 45.9 per cent higher than the £114.2m revenue in 2019.
Alexander adds: “These figures highlight how lively the Scottish market has been over the last year. The large increase between 2020 and 2021 is to be expected given the slump in sales at the start of the pandemic, but it is the substantial growth compared with 2019 which is so striking.”
“To have LBTT revenue almost 50 per cent higher in sales to both homeowners, and second homeowners, buy to let, and property investors indicates a continued demand in the market which is at levels we haven’t seen before.
“The last year has seen the Scottish Government receive £576.8m through LBTT from all property buyers compared to £395.6m in 2019. The last six months has had the majority of the highest ever levels of LBTT paid since the tax began.”