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20 February 2017, 07:06
First-time buyers in Scotland are on average about £850 a year better off than those who rent, according to analysis from the Bank of Scotland.
The average monthly costs associated with buying a three-bedroom house including mortgage costs stood at £522 in December 2016.
This was £71 lower than the typical monthly rent of #593 on the same property type.
Over the past year, the gap between buying and renting in Scotland has narrowed by £50 per month, the report found.
At the end of 2015, the monthly cost for buyers was £121 lower than renting.
The costs for first-time buyers in Scotland, the bank said, have been cheaper than renting since 2009.
Bank of Scotland director Graham Blair said: ''This is the eighth year in a row that first-time buyers in Scotland are better off buying a property rather than renting.
''Over this period of time, buying costs haven't fluctuated much, resulting in the annual saving increasing from £458 to £860.
''While it's also the more financially attractive option across the UK to buy rather than rent, it's more affordable in Scotland.
''Buying here is 12% cheaper than renting, compared to the UK's 7% cheaper.''
The figures also showed the number of first-time buyers in Scotland reached 23,000 in 2016, staying above the 20,000 mark for the third successive year.
Home buyers getting on to the first rung of the property ladder have grown by 87% since 2009 to its current level.
However, first-time buyer numbers still remain 21% below the immediate pre-crisis peak of 29,200 in 2006.
First-time buyers accounted for 49% of all house purchases made with a mortgage in 2016. This share has grown from 35% at the start of the housing downturn in 2007.
Mr Blair added: ``The size of deposit that is often required can represent a substantial hurdle to overcome before realising the potential financial advantages of home ownership.
''Whilst deposits can raise the upfront cost of buying, it is also an important form of long-term savings for homeowners and, coupled with rising prices, it contributes towards higher housing wealth.''