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14 March 2017

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First-time buyers in Scotland are on average £860 a year better off with their own home compared to those who rent, according to Bank of Scotland’s annual Buying versus Renting review. It shows the average cost associated with buying a three bedroomed house (including mortgage repayments) was £522 in December 2016 - £72 lower than the typical monthly rent of £593 paid for the same property type, a 12% difference compared to the UK average saving of 7%.

This marks the eighth year of buying being cheaper than renting in Scotland, albeit in the past year the gap between the costs of buying and renting has narrowed slightly. And the number of first-time buyers has continued to rise, totalling over 20,000 for the third successive year.

Commenting on the review results, Bank of Scotland’s mortgage director, Graham Blair, says: “The size of deposit that is often required can represent a big hurdle to overcome before realising the potential financial advantages of home-ownership. Whilst deposits can raise the upfront cost of buying, it is also an important form of long-term savings for homeowners, and coupled with rising prices it contributes towards higher housing wealth. This in itself adds to the financial attractiveness of buying.”

“While first-time buyer prices are a fifth higher (20%) than in 2009, the number of first-time buyers getting on the housing ladder has grown by 44% over the period. Official Scottish Government schemes, such as Help to Buy and New Supply Shared Equity Scheme, have played a part in helping first-time buyers, as have improving economic conditions.”

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