First time buyer sales on the rise in Scotland
New report shows Scottish house sales increased by 21% in July
Alex Johnson has been part of The Independent's online team since 2007. He has been writing about microarchitecture on his internationally-acclaimed Shedworking blog since 2006 and is the author of Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution. His latest book is Bookshelf, published by Thames & Hudson.
Wednesday 19 September 2012
Although first time buyers around the UK are mostly facing various challenges in getting their foot on the property market, in Scotland first time buyer sales are up 9 per cent so far this year.
The report from LSL Property Services, also shows prices in Midlothian have risen £17,000 in the last year and £14,000 in Edinburgh.
“Life for first time buyers in Scotland has improved markedly this year," said Gordon Fowlis, regional managing director of Your Move, an estate agency chain that is part of LSL. "There have been 1,100 more loans to new buyers so far this year than in the equivalent period last year. This has helped push up activity throughout the whole market, with July seeing 1,529 more sales than June."
However as in other parts of the UK, the picture is a fragmented one. On average, prices have fallen over the year by 0.5 per cent in Scotland as a whole but have risen more than 19 per cent in Clackmannanshire - the average price of a detached property here has gone up from £187,000 in July 2011 to £262,000 in July 2012 - and dropped by more than 13 per cent in Orkney Islands. Of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland, 12 have seen prices rise and 20 have seen falls over the past 12 months.
“While it isn’t all sunshine and roses just yet, first-timers in Scotland can at least take solace from the fact life is comparably better for them than their English and Welsh counterparts," added Fowlis. "New buyers in England and Wales have to stump up £22,000 more on average than Scottish buyers to get a loan, which is a major reason why the Scottish first-timer market is moving more freely."
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