05 Jan 2018
A first-time home buyer in Scotland typically takes nearly eight years to save the average 20% deposit north of the border of more than £20,000, according to new figures from Nationwide Building Society.
However, new property owners in London have a far harder time - needing almost 10 years to put aside over £80,000 for their deposit.
The North of England and Scotland come top of the UK tables for the smallest deposit requirements and least time taken to save a 20% deposit.
Nationwide also said in its latest house-price index that all regions except London saw price gains in 2017.
The West Midlands topped the table for the first time, with average prices up 5.2% year-on-year to £182,861.
London had a 0.5% annual decline to £470,922 and, for the first time since 2004, the capital ended the year as the weakest-performing region.
Scotland’s house price growth was similar to 2016 at 2.6% - ending 2017 with a typical price of £146,578.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “How the housing market performs in 2018 will be determined in large part by developments in the wider economy. Brexit developments will remain important, but hard to foresee.
“We continue to expect the UK economy to grow at modest pace, with annual growth of 1% to 1.5% in 2018 and 2019. Subdued economic activity and the ongoing squeeze on household budgets is likely to exert a modest drag on housing market activity and house price growth.
“Nevertheless, housing market activity is expected to slow only modestly, since unemployment and mortgage interest rates are expected to remain low by historic standards even if the bank rate is increased modestly.
"Similarly, the subdued pace of building activity evident in recent years and the shortage of properties on the market are likely to provide ongoing support for house prices."
Mr Gardner expected UK house prices to be broadly flat in 2018, with perhaps a marginal gain of around 1%.
He added: "Over the longer term, once the economy regains momentum, we would expect house prices to rise broadly in line with earnings (around 3%-4% per annum) - though if the rate of house building fails to keep up with population growth, prices may outpace earnings once again, as they have in recent years.
“The UK housing market has been characterised by significant regional disparities in house prices in recent years and it is not clear how Brexit will impact these dynamics. Much will depend on the nature of the Brexit impact on the UK economy in terms of its impacts on different sectors and the resulting geographic consequences.
"For example, if the financial sector is adversely affected, then the London market is likely to see more of an impact, while if manufacturing firms are disadvantaged, other parts of the country may be more negatively affected."
Aberdein Considine are giving first-time buyers the unique opportunity to save £250 on their first home purchase.
The first 200 people to register for our First-Time Buyer Open Days across Scotland will be gifted a £250 voucher to help cover the legal costs of their first purchase.
If you are planning to buy your first home this year, it's an event (and discount) not to be missed.
To register for one of our Open Days and to claim your £250 discount, click here.