The number of first time home buyers in Scotland has fallen by almost 30% in the last year, figures from the Bank of Scotland have shown.
Figures released by the bank in its homeowner review showed in the first half of 2023 there were 10,488 first-time buyers in Scotland compared to 14,850 – a decrease of 29%.
It is the lowest figure since 2020, when there were 9,600 in the first half of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There has also been a 29% drop in the number of people who have moved house, with 10,380 people moving house in the first half of 2023, compared to 14,550 in the first half of 2022.
House prices have also increased by 5% on average over the last year, from £270,216 in the first half of 2022 to £283,479.
Higher interest rates and inflation at levels not seen in a generation, put the brakes on the housing market in the early part of this year
The average deposit home buyers are putting down has also increased by 50% over the last five years, from £66,552 in 2018 to £99,777 in 2023.
Detached homes were the most common property, accounting for 34% of sales.
Flats have declined in popularity with 17% of buyers in 2023, compared to 22% a decade ago.
Graham Blair, head of mortgages at the Bank of Scotland, said: “With the house prices paid by home movers in Scotland up 5% in the last year, home ownership is still proving a safe place for investment and is the aspiration of many.
“However, higher interest rates and inflation at levels not seen in a generation put the brakes on the housing market in the early part of this year.
“Looking ahead, industry is already showing greater confidence and we may soon begin to see signs of a rebounding housing market.”