‘Priced out of buying’ - First time buyers can’t afford to buy in Edinburgh

Soaring house prices and high rents have made it nearly impossible for first time buyers in Edinburgh to enter the housing market, industry experts and politicians have warned.

By Shona Elliott
Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 7:58 am

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First time buyers in the city may find it increasingly hard to buy a home as property prices continue to rise leaving tenants stuck renting expensive flats.

The latest House Price Report from property portal ESPC has revealed that house prices across the Capital are shooting up.

The November report, which looks back at the property market over the past three months, has shown that popular places such as Leith have seen a significant increase in one and two bedroom properties.

The report found that one-bedroom flats in the Leith Walk area saw selling prices rise by 6.6 per cent on average, while two-bedroom flats in central Leith rose by 8.5 per cent.

Lothian MSP Miles Briggs has said the increase in cost will make it “incredibly hard” for first time buyers trying to get onto the housing ladder.

The Scottish Conservative politician said: “The cost of buying a property in Edinburgh has shot up over the last three months, with popular areas such as Leith seeing significant increases in property prices.

‘Priced out of buying’ - First time buyers can’t afford to buy in Edinburgh

“Property prices in the capital continue to go up, making it incredibly hard for first time buyers to get on the property ladder.

“It is vital we see more affordable homes being built in Edinburgh, so that people are not priced out of buying their own home.”

In response to housing concerns, the Scottish Conservatives have called on the Scottish Government to reintroduce the Help to Buy Scheme.

Mr Briggs said: “The Scottish Conservatives have called on SNP and Green Ministers to reintroduce the Help to Buy Scheme, as well as raising the threshold on paying Land and Building Transactions Tax form £175,000 to £250,000. This would save first-time buyers £1,500 when purchasing a home.”

31 cases recorded in Morningside last week with a seven-day rate of 516.6 per 100,000 population.

Across the Capital house prices soar

The report found recurring trends throughout the city with the average selling price of properties in Edinburgh’s south west at £386,144 from September to November . This is 16.7 per cent higher than the same time last year .

Similarly, three-bedroom houses in the areas of Currie, Balerno and Juniper Green saw an increase of 30 per cent, with homes selling for £409,996.

Homes in the east of Edinburgh also experienced an increase, with property selling prices rising 6.4 per cent to an average of £251,569, and flats in the city centre had a positive quarter, with a clear rise in demand from buyers.

The first tram tracks were laid on Leith Walk as part of the extension of the route to Newhaven

Two-beds in New Town and West End increased by 8.2 per cent, and similarly in Morningside and Merchiston experienced a 10.9 per cent increase in average selling price.

Dream of owning homes further away for renters, says leading estate agent

Leading estate agent based in Edinburgh, Umega said high house prices combined with high rents have left many tenants unable to get onto the property market.

Director of Umega, Andy Whitmey said tenants are spending a disproportionate about of money on rent, while is causing them to be unable to save for a property at house prices continue to rise.

According to Citylets, the average rent in Edinburgh is now sitting at £1,157pcm. 1 bedroom rents across the city have risen 46.9 per cent in the last 10 years and 2 bedroom rents have risen 44.6 per cent over the same period.

Mr Whitmey said: “With rising house prices alongside high rents due to record low levels of available rental property, the conditions are tough for tenants aspiring to buy their own home.

“According to the ESPC, the average property price for Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders is now £271,587.

“Rent levels in Edinburgh continue to rise due to lower than needed available rental stock to satisfy high tenant demand.

“With a higher proportion of tenants' income going on rent and property values rising, the prospect of homeownership drifts further out of reach for many. This exacerbates the supply/demand problem in the private rented sector further because people end up renting for longer.”

Competition is fierce

The report also found strong levels of competition from eager buyers during September-November, with 36.3 per cent of properties for sale going to a closing date. Some suburbs of Edinburgh saw a particularly high level of demand; 62 per cent of homes for sale in Craiglockhart and Joppa went to closing dates, as did 58 per cent of properties in Prestonpans and Murrayfield.

For more from ESPC, or to view properties currently on the market, visit espc.com.

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