Scots First-Time Buyers Paying Average £139k

Stirling is the most affordable place in the UK for first-time house buyers, a report has found.

House prices

A home in city costs £136,000 - 2.9 times local average earnings.

The research by Halifax found first-time buyers make up nearly half of all house purchases financed by a mortgage but those taking their first step on the property ladder typically need to put down a £33,000 deposit.

During the first half of 2017, 47% of all house purchases with a mortgage across the UK were made by first-time buyers..

But the average price paid for a first home is at a record high of £207,693, Halifax found. The average first-time buyer deposit put down in the first six months of 2017 was £32,899 - equating to 16% of the purchase price.

Across Scotland as a whole, the typical price was £139,041 with a 16% deposit of £21,565.

That compares to a deposit of £106,577 (26%) for first-time buyers in London, £16,457 (14%) in Northern Ireland and £17,193 (13%) in Wales.

Across the UK, the number of first-time buyers reached an estimated 162,704 in the first six months of 2017, which is only 15% below a peak seen in the last boom in 2006, Halifax said.

Schemes such as Help to Buy, combined with low mortgage rates, have given aspiring home owners a helping hand in recent years.

The proportion of first-time buyers has grown from 44% since the launch of Help to Buy in 2013, Halifax said.

There are also signs of first-time buyers stretching their loans out for longer, beyond the traditional 25-year term, to cover higher house prices.

In 2016, more than half (56%) of their mortgage terms were for 25 to 35 years. In 2007 just over a third (38%) of first-time buyer mortgages were for between 25 and 35 years, Halifax said.

While Stirling was identified as the most affordable place for first-time buyers, the least affordable was Brent in London. A typical first-time buyer home there costs £459,499 or around 12.5 times local average earnings.

Halifax used figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the First-Time Buyer Review.

Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said that for the third time in four years the numbers getting on the housing ladder in the first half of the year have exceeded 150,000 - "a level of momentum not seen since before the financial crisis".

He said: "High levels of employment, low mortgage rates and government schemes such as Help to Buy have also helped these numbers remain robust, as first-time buyers continue to form a fundamental part of the UK housing market."

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