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End of stamp duty holiday led to higher value purchases

Scottish first-time buyers bought higher-priced property than usual in the first quarter of 2012, taking advantage of the stamp duty concession, according to new figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders in Scotland.

Around 38% of first-time buyers in Scotland bought property valued between £125,000 and £250,000, the bands exempt from stamp duty during the concession. This is the highest proportion since records began in 2005.

Due to lower house prices in Scotland, around 35% of first-time buyers usually buy property in these bands compared to 50% in the UK as a whole. Properties under £125,000 were still the most popular option in Scotland in the first quarter but, at 58% of first-time buyers buying within this band, this is the lowest since records began.

Scottish first-time buyers typically borrowed 80% of their property’s value in the first quarter of the year, the same as the UK overall. The proportion of income spent on mortgage interest payments by first-time buyers increased to 11.4% in the first quarter from 11% in the previous quarter but was still lower than the proportion paid by first-time buyers across the UK (12.7%).