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Three out of four towns affordable for first time buyers

Over three quarters of towns and cities across Scotland are affordable for first-time buyers (FTBs), according to the latest Bank of Scotland First Time Buyer Review.

Based on Bank of Scotland’s own data, the average house price paid by someone looking to get onto the property ladder is affordable for someone on average earnings in 77% of all local authority districts (LADs). This compares with 38% at the peak of the housing market in 2007.

The proportion of affordable LADs in Scotland is significantly above the UK average (48%) and is the sixth highest among the twelve UK regions. The North East of England is the only UK region where all LADs are affordable for FTBs. In contrast, London is the only region with no affordable areas.

Despite the improvement in affordability, the number of FTBs has weakened further over the past year. Bank of Scotland estimates that there were around 7,500 first-time buyers in Scotland in the first half of 2011; a fall of 15% from the same period in 2010 and less than half the number in the first six months of 2007 (17,400).