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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 January 2006, 00:23 GMT
First-time buyers at record low
House buyers
The report said it took first-time buyers four years to save a deposit
The number of first-time buyers in Scotland has reached a record low, according to new research.

A report revealed that the number of people entering the property market in 2005 was estimated to be 9% lower than in 2004 and 58% lower than in 2002.

However, the Bank of Scotland study showed that first-time buyer numbers picked up in the second half of 2005.

The research also found that a deposit for a first home now costs three times more than it did five years ago.

It takes the typical first-time buyer four years to save a deposit in Scotland, according to the report.

Least affordable

The study revealed that in 2000, the average deposit was about 5,000, equivalent to 23% of average earnings.

However, it said the typical deposit currently stood at more than 15,000, equivalent to 57% of average earnings.

The report said that first-time buyers made up 24% of the Scottish housing market, which, along with the south-west of England, was the smallest proportion of any part of the UK.

In 1995, first-time buyers accounted for 37% of property transactions in Scotland.

The research also found that Edinburgh was the least affordable area for first-time buyers in Scotland, while Lochgelly was the most affordable.

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