Scotland business

Midlothian home to youngest first-time buyers

Woman looking at houses for sale
Image caption The average age of first-time buyers in Scotland is 28, compared with 29 for the UK as a whole

The youngest home buyers in Scotland are in Midlothian, according to new research.

Those buying properties in the area had an average age of 27 in the year to June, a Bank of Scotland study found.

Other areas with young buyers included Clackmannanshire, Fife, North Lanarkshire and Aberdeen, where the average age was 28.

There was relatively little variation in the average age of first-time buyers, with the oldest at 30.

In comparison, in England and Wales there was almost a decade's difference between the youngest and oldest first-time buyers.

The average age for Scotland as a whole was 28, one year below the UK average.

Researchers said that house prices tended to be relatively low in areas with the youngest first-time buyers.

Average earnings

Bank of Scotland housing economist Nitesh Patel said: "The variation in age between the youngest and oldest first buyers in Scotland is relatively low, just three years compared to almost a decade seen in England and Wales.

"In many cases this is due to house prices being typically lower both in absolute terms and in relation to earnings, helping to limit the size of the deposit needed and the time needed to build one up."

More than half of the 10 areas with the youngest first-time buyers had an average house price of 13% to 25% below the Scotland average.

These included North Ayrshire (25%), North Lanarkshire (20%), Clackmannanshire (16%) and Fife (15%).

In the 10 areas with the oldest first-time buyers, six were areas where the average first-time buyer price was above the Scotland average of £105,401.

These included Edinburgh (37%), East Lothian (47%) and East Renfrewshire (28%).

In nine of the 10 areas with the youngest buyers, the average house price was less than four times the average earnings for first-time buyers.

The research was based on data from Bank of Scotland's housing statistics database and ONS data on average earnings.

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