The Scottish Government has been criticised for trying to replace stamp duty with a “punitive” new tax system.
Representatives from the property industry will today tell MSPs that proposals to increase the levy to 10% on properties over £250,000 risks damaging the market and placing family homes out of reach for thousands of people in places like Aberdeen.
Critics say the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, expected to come into force next April, will have a particularly severe impact on people buying homes between £350,000 and £500,000.
The Scottish Conservatives have described the move as an “assault on aspiration”.
Party finance spokesman Gavin Brown said the government must give serious consideration to a reduction in the rate because it could lead to “market stagnation”.
In a submission to Holyrood’s finance committee, the Scottish Building Federation (SBF) said: “There may be merit in particular in looking again at the impact this is likely to have on property transactions valued up to £500,000.
“We are concerned at the higher value rates applied to residential property and we fear this will have a negative impact on those sections of the markets, with a potential knock-on consequence for those seeking to move up the property ladder.”
The SBF warned that there could be a reduction in sales between £250,000 and £400,000, which would have a negative impact on how much revenue the government collects.
In its submission, industry body Homes for Scotland said: “We view the rate on transactions over £250,000 to £1million to be too punitive on the upper-middle market.
“This core market comprises aspirational movers and families with changing needs.”
The new system was based on people’s ability to pay and people buying a house worth up to £130,000 would be exempt from any duty.
According to a recent survey by the Nationwide building society, the average price of a house in Aberdeen is £263,986, and the Scottish average is £162,000.