A degree and a decent job does not mean that home ownership is easily affordable, discovers Kirsty McLuckie.
This month sees the start of the university year but for new graduates the reality of a job and a place to live may have just hit after a summer of celebrating.
While graduate starting salaries cannot guarantee the budget to buy a home, the good news is that Scotland is a more affordable place for first time buyers than the rest of the UK.
According to the Bank of Scotland the average price paid for a first-time purchase last year was £141,671.
Of course affordability depends on where you want to be, with many graduates choosing to stay in the city in which they studied – which can be much easier in Stirling or Dundee in terms of affordability, than in Edinburgh.
It is also highly dependent on the subject studied, with research from Trussle, an online mortgage broker, suggesting that a degree in dentistry, chemical engineering and veterinary medicine are likely to provide starting salaries which should enable a graduate to buy a property.
The typical starting salary of a newly qualified dentist is £34,840, meaning they could borrow a mortgage of up to £139,360. Provided they’ve managed to save a 5 per cent deposit, they could afford a home worth up to £146,695.
Those studying creative arts and design, at the bottom or the graduate salary table meanwhile, are unlikely to be able to buy a home without additional help, such as a gifted deposit or applying for shared ownership.
Their typical starting salary of £15,184 would likely give them a total budget with deposit of £63,993.
Ishaan Malhi, founder and CEO of Trussle, comments: “Young professionals are becoming more resourceful as they realise the difficulties of buying a home.
“People can tackle affordability issues by buying with friends, while others consider shared ownership.
“But, the sad reality is that most graduates will not earn enough in their first job to borrow enough of a mortgage to get on to the property ladder, let alone save for a deposit.”
With that in mind, we’ve put together five flats in Scottish university towns, with a price tag that might be within reach of a graduate.
Where is it?: 4/7 Drybrough Crescent, Peffermill Road, Edinburgh South.
What is it?: A two-bedroomed modern flat with an open-plan sitting room with sit out balcony and kitchen, a main bedroom with ensuite shower room and a second small bedroom plus a bathroom. The building is relatively new with a lift to all floors and communal gardens.
Good points: Although it is out of the city centre, the development is on a main bus route. It is close to Edinburgh University Kings Building Campus and the Royal Infirmary. There is plenty of parking and a second bedroom and bathroom means you could take a lodger or buy with someone else to help with the mortgage.
Bad points: Looking long term, a lot of new flats have been built in the area which might affect capital growth.
Contact: Ballantynes on 0131-459 222.
Where is it?: 12 Napiershall Street, Kelvinbridge, Glasgow.
What is it?: A one-bedroomed fourth-floor flat in the West End, with an adaptable open-plan space that can be divided or opened out.
Good points: Close to Glasgow University and the Underground, plus lots of amenities on the doorstep. The flat is newly refurbished with underfloor heating, the balcony is a bonus and the flexible wall is a groovy touch.
Bad points: The area is very studenty which a new graduate might want to get away from.
Price: Fixed price £146,000.
Contact: Rettie and Co. on 0141-341 6000.
Where is it? Flat 6, 53A Perth Road, West End, Dundee.
What is it?: A top-floor flat with two bedrooms, large sitting room with a big bay window, separate kitchen and a bathroom.
Good points: It is a lovely flat, in a traditional building and the bay window has far-reaching views over the city and the River Tay. Original features such as cornicing.
Bad points: No private parking.
Price: Offers over £147, 499.
Contact: Simple Approach Estate Agency on 01382 646133.
Where is it? Ruthrieston Court, Riverside Drive, Aberdeen.
What is it? A two-bedroomed apartment on the top floor of a modern granite building.
Good points: It is close to a park and the riverside but within a mile or so of the city centre and the station and offers easy access to the ring road. A second bedroom offers scope for a lodger and the finish in the flat is bright and modern. Private parking is a boon.
Bad points: It hasn’t a huge amount of character and is on the opposite side of the city to the university. The price might be a squeeze on a single graduate’s salary and there are a lot of stairs up to it.
Price: Fixed price £150,000
Contact: Northwood on 01224 088852.
Where is it?: 6D St John Street, Stirling.
What is it?: A three-bedroomed top-floor flat in the heart of the city centre.
Good points: It is a lot of space for the money, and is within five minutes walk of shops, bars and restaurants, plus the train station. Good sized bedrooms, a modern finish and the location is in one of the most historic parts of the city, on a street leading to the castle. Three bedrooms could mean a longer tenure as you are unlikely to grow out of it in a short time, or lodgers.
Bad points: It is an older building, so you would want to check maintenance, parking is by permit.
Price: Offers over £142,5000.
Contact: Bastion Property Management on 01786 392930.