First-timers’ ability to buy home falls

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FIRST-TIME buyers’ ability to snap up homes in Scotland has fallen by two per cent in the last year, according to the Royal Bank of Scotland.

That’s compared to a one per cent rise across the UK.

The RBS Ability to Buy Index takes into account the changing costs of essentials – such as food and fuel – in addition to changes in earnings, house prices, tax and National Insurance, and notes how these affect available income left at the end of each month for a mortgage payment.

It’s designed to give a more sensitive and realistic measure of a household’s ability to buy. The Index also tracks how long it will take first-time buyers to save for a deposit.

Fionnuala Earley, RBS Group UK consumer economist, said: “By including living costs we get a far more accurate picture of the real ability to buy.”