While the Scottish referendum and the political arena in the UK often attract wild and wonderful headlines, newspapers in Scotland are suggesting that many Scottish property owners are looking to relocate to England. Whether or not they have a political bias, there are suggestions of concern that the SNP is dominating Scottish politics and the threat of tax rises. Is there any truth in this headline or is this again just sensationalism by the mass media?
Changing Scottish politics
As we have mentioned on numerous occasions, there was a definite lull in the Scottish property market as we approached the independence referendum last year and the election this year. Immediately after these events were over estate agents were reporting increased interest which does not quite tally up with suggestions that Scottish homeowners are looking to relocate to England?
The situation has been muddied a little by the revelation this week that the ruling SNP party in Scotland could increase taxes as a means of filling a perceived budget black hole. The suggestion is if full fiscal autonomy for Scotland was instigated tomorrow there would be an £8 billion budget deficit which would likely increase in the short to medium term. It is fair to say these figures have been questioned by the SNP but full fiscal autonomy does not appear to be on the cards in the short-term.
Due to uncertainty and the changing political environment in Scotland it is fair to say that the Scottish economy has lagged the rest of the UK. However, a whole raft of new powers have been transferred to the Scottish Parliament which will give them the levers and power to have a more direct impact upon the local economy. There are hopes that this will beckon in a new phase of growth for the Scottish economy although not everyone is convinced.
Unemployment is still a major problem in Scotland which obviously has an impact upon the underlying property market. This, together with an ageing population, will increase the pressure on the welfare budget and see more and more people looking towards the rental market. Will the Scottish government look to increase social housing?
Are things in Scotland really that bad?
As we touched on above, many newspapers across the UK like to sensationalise the ongoing events across Scotland and the UK as a whole. Whether or not you are a supporter of the SNP it does seem that they have the best interests of Scotland in mind although they are yet to reveal plans to introduce growth into the economy. We have seen some high-profile figures switching from Scotland to England but in all honesty many of the people involved have moved for business reasons as well as personal reasons.
Newspapers across the UK certainly have a vendetta against the SNP as it continues its campaign for Scottish independence. Whether we will see high numbers of Scottish properties appear on the market as their owners move to England is debatable. There are many reasons to look to Scotland as a potential addition to your long term property portfolio.
While there may be some truth in the headlines the fact is they have been sensationalised out of all proportion!