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3 March 2005

MSP’S CONCERNS FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS AT LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has signed his colleague, Richard Lochhead’s Parliamentary Motion on the subject of first time buyers and the fact that affordable housing should be available to all.

Commenting in the issue, Mr Stevenson said:

“I have to say that I found it disappointing to learn from the Bank of Scotland’s Annual First Time Buyer Review that four out of five towns in Scotland are now unaffordable for first-time buyers. In 2004 we have seen the number of first time buyers entering the market being the lowest number in nine years, falling from 50,000 in 2002 to just 32,000 in 2004.

“It is sad to see that first time buyers accounted for less than three in 10 new mortgages in Scotland in 2004, well below the longer-term average of one in two. Furthermore, it is worrying that key service workers and young couples are often among those first-time buyers frozen out of communities, particularly in rural areas, due to unaffordable property prices.

“I believe that it is vital that young people are afforded the opportunity to gain a footing on the property ladder should this be their chosen route given that this will help them remain in communities where they are currently unable to live. The Scottish Executive should take all steps available to ensure that young people are not frozen out of their communities due to a lack of affordable housing, whether they choose to rent or purchase.”
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