EU referendum ‘wobble’ delivers first-time buyer bargain

House prices dipped in May in anticipation of the EU referendum.
House prices dipped in May in anticipation of the EU referendum.
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First time buyers in Scotland were able to snap up a bargain in the past three months as the market “wobbled” due to uncertainty over the EU referendum result, experts have claimed.

Those moving onto the property ladder for the first time paid an average of £113,448 for their new home between March and May - the lowest first time property price recorded in Scotland since the first quarter of last year.

Across the market as a whole, house prices dipped in May in anticipation of the EU referendum on 23rd June, estate agent Your Move and Reeds Rains said.

In Scotland, first time buyers paid around £10,100 less (-8.2 per cent) for their property between March and May compared to values recorded in the three months before.

Recent figures suggest that values are falling closer to prices paid in the first three months of 2015, when first time buyers were paying just under £112,000 for their new home.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said Brexit was allowing first time buyers to potentially “negotiate harder” for a good price.

Mr Gill said: “May saw a crunch in the number of homeowners putting up a ‘for sale’ sign as many sellers held back to see the result of the EU referendum.

“But Brexit worries haven’t dented first-time buyers’ appetite to own their own home. Many still want to capitalise on the record low mortgage rates available at the moment which mean that monthly mortgage repayments are increasingly affordable.

“The Brexit result won’t change the fact that huge numbers of aspiring first-timers want to buy a first home, and lots won’t want to wait out the 2 years until the renegotiations over the EU have been completed.

“In the short-term, the wider market wobbles may benefit first-timers, giving them the leverage to negotiate harder and get a good deal on purchase price. Canny first-timers will use any Brexit lull as a chance to snap up a good deal and get on the housing ladder.”

Volumes of first time buyer sales in Scotland also dropped with 6,800 transactions recorded between March and May - down 500 on the previous three months.

The average deposit for a first home fell to £15, 859 - down 33 per cent on the year - with the average first time buyer mortgage recorded as £97,589. This was a slight rise (2.8 per cent) on the value recorded 12 months earlier.

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