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The property market is looking up for Scotland’s first-time buyers

The property market is looking up for Scotland’s first-time buyers
With cuts to mortgage rates, more fixed rate property prices, and homes selling at home report value, Peter Ryder, Managing Director of Estate Agency at Thorntons believes the market is improving for aspiring first-time buyers.

Taking your first steps on to the property ladder can be a daunting prospect, and forecasted mortgage rates and affordability issues paint a bleak picture for first-time buyers (FTBs). Yet, I would argue that the prospect is not so bleak, and there are encouraging signs for those looking to make their first strides towards becoming a homeowner.

UK interest rates rose to 5.25% in July 2023, with analysts anticipating a further rise to 5.75%. However, in this time, Britain’s four biggest lenders - Halifax, HSBC, Nationwide and TSB –all cut rates on their mortgage deals, and others could follow suit.

This is just one of a few promising turns in the market. In Scotland, house prices are generally lower than the UK average, which fell at their fastest annual rate this July. Halifax published figures that show the average UK home costs 6.7 times an individual’s earnings, as opposed to a peak of 7.1 last year.

A decrease in property prices has also been accompanied by an increase in choice. The amount of property listings has risen, so FTBs will have more to choose from when purchasing their first home. This is not to say that navigating the current environment is by any means easy, but for young people who want to fulfil their dream of owning their first home, there is reason to be optimistic.

In some regards, the market is swinging in favour of buyers. Homes are now selling closer to their home report value. If a home sells close to this value, the FTB has a better chance of securing the property when offering around this figure.

Better yet, buyers can now take advantage of the increase in fixed price properties. This gives first-time buyers the opportunity to secure a property with their first offer and avoid the headache of competition.

Nevertheless, the current perception is that the number of FTBs relying on the bank of mum and dad is increasing, along with the barriers in the market. While it is certainly true that the bank of mum and dad – and according to recent research, siblings - remains open for some, these trends may relieve the stress on relatives’ pockets and give FTBs some financial independence.

With thorough research and the right financial guidance, aspiring FTBs should embark on their property ownership journey with confidence and excitement.

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About the author

Peter Ryder
Peter Ryder

Peter Ryder

Managing Director, Estate Agency

Residential Property

For more information, contact Peter Ryder or any member of the Residential Property team on +44 1382 305769.