First-time buyers make significant impact on property market

The number of first-time buyers in Scotland has grown by more than 50 per cent in a decade, according to research.

House Market. File image.

Figures from the Bank of Scotland show there were 34,519 in 2018, compared with 22,100 in 2008.

First-time buyers were found to make up around half of all house purchases with a mortgage in Scotland, up from 37 per cent a decade a go.

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Ricky Diggins, a director at the Bank of Scotland, said the lower deposit needed in Scotland was a great help in giving potential buyers a chance to buy their first home.

“There has been steady growth of new buyers coming on to the property ladder in Scotland over the last decade, with the proportion of first-time buyers now representing half of the overall market,” he said.

“This is important for the wellbeing of the Scottish property market, and has been helped by factors such as continued low mortgage rates.

“With a much lower deposit required north of the Border, first-time buyers in Scotland will have to put down a lot less to get the keys to their first home, especially those in East Ayrshire – [one of] the UK’s most affordable places for first-time buyers.”

Mr Diggins added: “Those looking for their first place in Edinburgh can expect to pay more than double that.”

The average deposit put down by a first-time buyer in Scotland was 15 per cent of the purchase price in 2008, jumping dramatically to 25 per cent in 2009.

In 2018, the average deposit dropped to 14 per cent of the purchase price, although property prices have continued to increase.

The £19,952 average deposit being put down on a first home in Scotland is just over half of the UK-wide average of £33,352.

Two-bedroom properties have been the first-time buyer’s home of choice in Scotland throughout the past decade, making up more than four in ten mortgages for first homes in 2018.

Last week research released by the Halifax bank revealed that first-time buyers now make up the majority of home purchases bought with a mortgage in the UK.

The last time this was the case was in 1995.

East Ayrshire was identified as the third most affordable area, with homes at three times local gross earnings. Pendle in Lancashire and Copeland in Cumbria were the most affordable areas.

Russell Galley, managing director at the Halifax, said the continued growth in first-time buyers came despite a shortage of homes and ongoing difficulties facing those saving for a deposit.