Across the country many factors influence the price of a house and subsequently the mortgage of the house, but nothing is more important than its location. Over recent years house prices have sky rocketed in some areas leaving huge gaps in the property market. This inequality of house prices is especially seen in the North – South divide. The South, and especially London, has seen a 9%+ rise in house prices which means the average house price is nearing the £300,000 mark, whereas in Scotland the average house price is at an average of £140,000, with a 3.4% rise. Another factor affecting house prices is the increase in the amount of stamp duty levied on all UK property transfers, however, once again Scotland get the better deal as areas of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Dumfries are exempt from stamp duty as they are labelled as disadvantaged areas.
Even though house prices are considerably lower in Scotland (even in the city centre of Edinburgh where house prices average over £200,000), Edinburgh mortgage advice often errs on the side of caution about buying in the city centre as devolution has meant that city has experienced a recent increase in the number of people looking to buy in the city centre. Due to the rise in the popularity of the city as a place to live, Edinburgh has recently been voted one of the best places to live by Channel 4’s programme ‘Location, Location, Location’.
In actual fact, Scotland seems to have the best house market, especially for first time buyers. With UK mortgage rates being competitive, the lower house prices are a definite plus for first time buyers and those on lower wages. Not only are the house prices cheap but the house purchase system which they employ uses processes which make the housing market more stable and less stressful for the buyer. The property purchase process removes the possibility of a buyer being ‘gazumped’ by another buyer in the final stages of the buying process.
In Scotland properties are only advertised by the minimum amount the seller is willing to accept for the property. Also, before a buyer begins to make offers on property they must first agree a mortgage with a lender. This is based upon income and credit history, thus the buyer can only bid on property for which they can afford the mortgage repayments. This is particularly important as houses are bought through sealed bids. However, it does have some very import downsides as the buyer cannot back out of the offer of the house so the buyer may need to have several expensive surveys done on the…