The recent Bank of Scotland First Time Buyers Review makes optimistic reading for those looking to find a new home in Scotland. In June of this year, the typical price paid by first-time buyers was within the means of those on an average income in 93% of all local authority districts. This is a dramatic increase from last year's figure of 75% and is the highest proportion since 2005. Unsurprisingly, this increase in affordability has led to an upsurge in the number of people placing their foot on the first rung of the property ladder, with around 9,000 first-time buyers in Scotland purchasing a new home in the first six months of 2012.
Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Bank of Scotland, said: "With first-time buyers forming a vital part of the Scottish housing market, it is clearly encouraging that the number of those getting onto the property ladder for the first time may well increase this year, albeit from a historically low level. This partly reflects the substantial improvement in home affordability for first-time buyers since 2007, following the fall in house prices over the period."
The study was carried out across the UK and Scots buyers will be pleased to find that four of the five most affordable areas in Britain are in Scotland. South Ayrshire came at the top of the list with the average property price in the area costing 2.47 times the average annual salary.
Many first-time buyers may think that they will be limited to a one-bedroom apartment but with prices being so reasonable in South Ayrshire, money goes a lot further. For example, Robertson Homes has a selection of two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom homes ranging from £137,000 to £285,995 at its Kings Park development in Ayr. The three-bedroom ‘Damson II' house type is priced at an affordable £159,995 and includes a lounge, kitchen/dining area, master bedroom with en suite and fitted wardrobes, two further bedrooms, a family bathroom and downstairs WC.
House-hunters in the north might be disappointed to learn that Aberdeenshire was deemed the least affordable local authority district in Scotland with property prices coming in at 4.31 times the average income. However, this trend is being bucked in Kingswells where prices at Stewart Milne Homes' West 1 development start from £143,495 for the ‘Rowan' house type. This contemporary terraced home comprises an open-plan living room and kitchen, master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe, study, family bathroom and a landscaped front garden. West 1 is situated to the west of Aberdeen and residents here can enjoy a semi-rural lifestyle within easy reach of the city centre.