Scottish first-time buyers saved around £1800 last year on keeping a roof over their heads compared to renters, a bank has found.
However, those who hope to buy face paying out an average deposit of £35,000.
Last year, the average rent for a three-bedroom house grew by 2% to £699 while buying costs went up by 5% to £548, the Bank of Scotland said, giving homeowners a monthly saving of £151 – or £1817 annually.
But, north of the border, new buyers will have to put down an average deposit of £34,975.
Graham Blair, mortgages director at the bank, said that, for the second year running, “Scottish buyers see the biggest proportional difference in costs compared to renters”.
The cost gap between buying and renting is 22%, analysts have said, with Scotland and the North West of England having the widest gap in the UK.
According to the bank’s Buying vs Renting Review, the UK’s average monthly buying cost was £759, while the average monthly rental cost was £874.
This would mean the average UK homeowner would save £1378 a year.
In Scotland, the annual gap between renting and buying is now £1236 – or 213% – greater than 10 years ago, the bank said.
But, in good news for renters, the 2021 difference of £1917 is not as great as in 2020 when owning your own house would have saved you £1927 compared to renting.
To get on the property ladder, Scots have to fork out, on average, 20% of the house price, which Blair described as the “greatest challenge for many first-time buyers”.
“The £35,000 average deposit we see in our data may be an unimaginable sum to potential first-time buyers, but it’s much higher than many need to get a foot on their housing ladder,” he said.
“Deposits from 5% are available and, based on the average house price, would mean putting down a £6800 deposit – significantly less than the average.”
Despite Scotland and the North West having the biggest difference between ownership and renting, in absolute terms London comes out on top.
In London, renting is £4181 more costly than buying a property, with average rents coming in at £1703 a month. To buy, the average monthly cost would cost £1355, the bank said.
The smallest gap is in Northern Ireland, where renting is just £17 per month – or £205 a year – higher than ownership.