Scotland

First house harder to buy for Scots, says Shelter

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Image caption Figures show hardest for Scots to get on housing ladder

Getting on the housing ladder in Scotland is harder than anywhere else in the UK, according to the housing charity Shelter.

Its research also suggested it was 75% tougher to get a mortgage north of the border than it was 15 years ago.

The charity called on the government to provide long term affordable housing for home owners and tenants.

It warned that focusing on owning homes risked a new economic crisis.

Shelter said the need to put down hefty deposits meant that it was hard to get on the housing ladder despite low interest rates.

It has called for a new approach to housing policy by government.

Economic crisis

Shelter Scotland's director, Graeme Brown, said: "There are tough choices ahead. But long term affordable housing for home owners and tenants alike must be the priority."

He said just focusing on home ownership risked a return to inflated house prices and the risk of a second economic crisis.

The charity's Affordable Index showed that it was harder to buy in Scotland compared with other parts of the UK.

It calculates affordability by taking into account average incomes and the average price for a first house.

However, the charity said that it if you succeed in getting the necessary finance, Scotland was the best place to be a first time buyer.

Mortgage costs are nearly 14% of the average household income compared with just over 17% across the UK.

Commenting on the figures, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations said with 300,000 people on social housing waiting lists it fully supported the need for quality rented accommodation.

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