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Sharp Rise in Scottish First-time Buyer Numbers

The number of mortgage loans to first-time buyers in Scotland reached 7,500 in the second quarter of 2014, according to recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). This is an increase of 29% over the previous quarter, and up 23% on Q2 2013.

In total, Scottish first-time buyers borrowed £790 million over the quarter, which is up 39% on the previous quarter and 32% on Q2 2013.

There was apparently little change in first-time buyer affordability over the period, with first-time buyers typically borrowing 2.98 times their gross income. This is unchanged compared to the first quarter and is less than the UK average of 3.46.

The typical loan size for first-time buyers was £95,000 in the second quarter, up from just under £90,000 in the previous quarter. The CML report also reveals that the typical gross income of a first-time buyer household was £32,300, compared to £30,700 in the first quarter.

“Lending in Scotland has remained robust this quarter, despite the introduction of new FCA mortgage market rules,” commented Linda Docherty, chair of CML Scotland. “We will, however, need more time to understand the full effect of the new rules.”

“House purchase lending has been the main catalyst of increased activity, with larger quarter-on-quarter growth in Scotland than the UK overall,” she added. “The comparatively favourable conditions in the Scottish market have meant that first-time buyer numbers continue to grow to levels not seen since 2007.”

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