Scots buying luxury toilets instead of moving home


A LUXURY bathroom entrepreneur says wealthy home owners are upgrading their bathrooms rather than moving house.

Ronnie Scott believes the replacement for stamp duty on £1 million plus homes has slowed property sales, as discerning home owners in Edinburgh concentrate on upgrading their existing homes instead.

The businessman recently invested £75,000 to open a new Boscolo Bathrooms showroom in Stockbridge, building on the success of his existing branch in Causewayside on the capital’s south side.

Mr Scott added: “We are seeing very clearly that people with homes worth more than £1m – and are there are many in Edinburgh – are choosing not to sell because of these tax implications.

Ronnie Scott, the owner of Boscolo bathrooms
Ronnie Scott, the owner of Boscolo Bathrooms


“Instead many are choosing to invest in their existing home rather than moving and that generally involves a range improvements. That is fortunate for us because an upgraded bathroom is usually top of the list.”

Earlier this year the Scottish Government introduced a new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax to replace traditional stamp duty. It is a sliding scale with the highest charges of 12% applying to properties worth £750,000 and more.

Mr Scott’s experiences support a recent report by upmarket estate agency, Knight Frank, which says a “two-speed” market is now operating in the Scottish capital. It reported that since the introduction of the LBTT, price growth has been driven mainly by the sub-£500,000 property market.

The estate agency found that while prices for properties under the £500,000 bracket rose by 1.1% in the third quarter of 2015, the sales values of properties over £500,000 increased by just 0.2% in the same period.