Following on the good news of increased mortgage availability and decreasing mortgage rates, people wanting to buy a house in Scotland received another boost recently with Stamp Duty being suspended for one year on houses up to £175,000. The Government hopes this measure will help kick start the housing market particularly at the first time buyer level, where the effects of the “credit crunch” hit hardest. Caesar and Howie welcome the news. Senior Conveyancing partner Graham Irvine commented “it is no secret that the market is depressed at the moment – so anything which encourages buyers is a good thing. Savings of up to £1,750 on purchasing a house are not to be sniffed at nowadays”. However, the firm feels that certain areas of Scotland will benefit much more than others. Managing partner David Borrowman feels the tax break will have uneven effects depending on where you live. “House price levels are very different across the country. For example Land register figures show that in Clackmannanshire the average house price is £130,266 whilst in Edinburgh it is £221,209. It therefore seems logical to me that in the lower house price areas a greater proportion of the houses for sale will benefit from the Stamp Duty cut. That should mean that markets where lower prices predominate will get a bigger boost than the markets where more expensive prices are the norm. From the various areas where we operate I would say Alloa, Falkirk, and parts of West Lothian, will benefit more for example than Edinburgh. But even allowing for that – we still welcome this news which should help get the market moving a little faster”.