First-time buyers, Scotland

THE number of first-time buyers in Scotland is estimated to have risen to 33,558 in 2019, an increase of more than 90 per cent from 17,580 a decade ago, according to research from the Bank of Scotland.

Says the bank, in its First-Time Buyer Review, the figure of 33,558 also represents a rise of around three per cent (1,028) on 12 months previously.

It adds that first-time buyers still account for 50 per cent of all property purchases with a mortgage in Scotland, up from 38 per cent in 2009.

The review was published, at the start of this year, in January 2020.

Says a media release accompanying the publication: “The Bank of Scotland First-Time Buyer Review also revealed that the average price paid for a typical first home has gone up by 38 per cent (£41,687) in Scotland over the last ten years, from £111,402 in 2009 to £152,728 in 2019. Meanwhile, the average deposit put down by a first-time buyer increased by 13 per cent over the same period, from £26,427 to £29,950.

“Over the last year alone, the average price paid by a first-time buyer in Scotland rose by eight per cent (£10,771), while the average deposit was up by 11 per cent (£2,879).

“However, Scotland remains one of the most affordable places in the UK to buy a first property, with only Northern Ireland (£136,850) and the North [of England] (£136,104) recording a lower average price for first- time buyers in 2019.

“This compares to a UK average first-time buyer price of £231,455, while the average UK deposit last year for first-time buyers was £46,187.”

The most affordable local authority district in Scotland is North Ayrshire, where the average price paid for a first home is £107,198, or 3.3 times the local gross average annual earnings of £32,866. That’s closely followed by East Ayrshire and Inverclyde (both also 3.3).

The least affordable local authority district in Scotland is Midlothian, with an average property price of £174,033, at 5.2 times the average gross annual earnings of £33,319.

The highest average price for those taking their first step on the property ladder is in Edinburgh, where at £211,307, the Scottish capital’s prices are 5.1 times the average gross annual earnings.

East Lothian has recorded the biggest deterioration in affordability over the last decade, where the average price for a first-time buyer has risen from £135,369 to £182,922.

Continues the release: “Meanwhile, earnings have remained relatively flat, rising from £34,000 to £35,510 over the same period. This means the affordability measure has worsened by 29 per cent, from 4.0 to 5.2 in ten years.”

Average earnings figures are from the Office for National Statistics’ ‘Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings’ and refer to “the means for full-time employees”.

Read more, here, the Bank of Scotland media release about its First-Time Buyer Review (which includes several different data tables), published January 28 2020.

Pictured: Westfield Avenue, Edinburgh