Scots first-time home buyers need £40,000 deposit

The number of first-time buyers fell in Scotland by 10% to 27,339 last year — the smallest fall in the UK — compared to 2022, according to the latest analysis from Bank of Scotland.

The average house price for buyers entering the housing market in 2023 was £188,670, about 1% lower than the previous year.

House prices for first-time buyers were £70,000 more expensive on average — about 60% — than 10 years ago.

First-time buyers need to put down an average deposit of £39,691, about 4% lower than in 2022.

Despite these significant sums, those entering the property market for the first time made up 51% of all home purchases with a mortgage last year.

Graham Blair, Mortgages Director, Bank of Scotland, said: “Following a bumper year in 2021, the number of first-time buyers fell in the last two years, although this trend was seen to a lesser extent in Scotland than the rest of the UK.

“Despite this drop, those buying a first home make up over half of all home loans and Scotland continues to offer some of the most affordable places to buy a home in the UK, something that will appeal to first-time buyers when saving for that hefty deposit.”

According to Bank of Scotland’s analysis, first-time buyers in Scotland are now 31 years old on average, one year younger than the UK average.

“Compared to the rest of the UK, Scotland offers some of the most affordable places for those buying a first home,” said Bank of Scotland.

“Inverclyde in West-Central Scotland is the most affordable – properties here are around 2.6 times the average salary (£41,598).

“The least affordable area in Scotland is Edinburgh, which also has one of the highest average house prices (£262,706), with average property prices around 5.8 times the average salary (£45,648).

“The data from Bank of Scotland also found that almost two thirds (63%) of mortgage completions in the UK are now made in joint names (with 2 or more people).”