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First-time buyers account for half of all house purchases in Scotland

There were more than 34,500 first-time buyers in Scotland in 2018; an increase of 56 per cent from the 22,100 recorded a decade ago, according to the latest figures. Up 13 per cent from 2008, first-time buyers now account for 50 per cent of all house purchases with a mortgage, the Bank of Scotland statistics conclude.

For a typical first home in 2018, the average price paid was £141,671; a rise of 19 per cent (or £22,269) from 2008’s average price of £119,402. The data discovered that Scotland’s capital had the highest average price of all local authority districts at £196,091.

Other regions surpassing Scotland’s average home price were:

  • East Dunbartonshire (£192,198),
  • East Renfrewshire (£188,165),
  • East Lothian (£175,712) and
  • Aberdeenshire (£168,898).

While Glasgow City managed to beat Scotland’s average house price by a couple of thousand pounds (£144,683), North Lanarkshire fell below the national average at £111,064.

Average deposits on first homes

The average deposit in Scotland has increased 11 per cent (or £2,042) over the past ten years, from £17,910 to £19,952 last year, according to the Bank of Scotland research. Although Wales was recorded as paying the lowest average deposit across the UK (£16,701), Scotland’s average deposit of £19,952 is just over half of the UK-wide average (£33,352).

Scotland’s capital had the highest average deposit in Scotland of £27,716.10. This was closely followed by:

  • East Dunbartonshire (£27,067.92),
  • East Renfrewshire (£26,499.89),
  • East Lothian (£24,746.10) and
  • Aberdeenshire (£24,607.26).

The lowest deposits in Scotland were found in East Ayrshire (£13,291.29), Inverclyde (£13,948.89), North Ayrshire (£14,034.31), West Dunbartonshire (£14,746.54) and North Lanarkshire (£15,641.57).

In Scotland, the average deposit put down by a first-time buyer has dropped from 25 per cent of the purchase price in 2009 to 14 per cent in 2018.

Properties with two bedrooms have been the most common type of choice for first-time buyer’s in the past decade, accounting for more than four in 10 mortgages for first homes in Scotland last year.

Ricky Diggins, Bank of Scotland director, concluded on the findings:

‘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 – the UK’s most affordable place for first-time buyers. Those looking for their first place in Edinburgh can expect to pay more than double that.’

The most affordable local authority district in Scotland is East Ayrshire – with an average price for a first home at £94,376; three times the average gross annual income. On the other hand, the least affordable local authority district is Midlothian. With property prices at £168,898, this figure is 5.3 times the local gross annual earnings in Midlothian.

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