First-time buyers in Scotland are being denied market entry by so-called “double deposit” restrictions, it is claimed.

An expert at international real estate advisors Savills believes purchasers in Scotland are often being priced out of a potential move by the requirement.

Jennifer Goldie, Savills associate director, said that, unlike the rest of the UK, in Scotland mortgage providers will only lend based on the home report value, not the agreed sale price.

With the current market trend meaning buyers most likely need to pay a significant sum over and above the home report price to secure a property - latest figures suggest at least an extra 10 per cent - they are in effect having to pay out on a second deposit if they want to meet the seller’s valuation.

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As first-time buyers won’t have the luxury of funds from a previous sale, many of them are being shut out from the market.

However, one way to avoid the double-deposit dilemma is for buyers to target fixed-priced homes, the expert said.

This is because if the seller is advertising the property at a price below or equal to the home report value, a potential bidding war is avoided and the purchaser won’t have to stump up that substantial second financial outlay.

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Commenting on the increase in inquiries for fixed-priced homes, Savills associate director, Jennifer Goldie, said: “The Scottish property market has always operated independently from the rest of the UK and this has certainly brought both positives and negatives for buyers and sellers over the years.

“What we have been witnessing since the impact of the pandemic is an increased struggle for first-time buyers to be able to take that first step on the property ladder.

"With a spike in prices, caused by a huge spike in demand, that’s led to sale prices often being agreed at a significant figure over the home report value."

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She added: “With the purchaser having to pay the difference out of their own pocket and not being able to lean on their lender for this amount, lots of people aiming to buy property for the first-time are simply being priced out of the market.

“For these buyers, fixed-priced new homes can be the answer.

"Although fixed-price properties still only represent a small percentage of the resale market all our new build homes are currently sold at a fixed-price, which is an attractive benefit for anyone struggling to purchase a property.”

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Last month, Nationwide Building Society figures showed average UK house prices had suffered their biggest fall in over a decade, with a 1.1% decrease in the year to February.

However, many parts of Scotland including Glasgow and Edinburgh have remained more buoyant, continuing to show growth.

The average house price in and around Edinburgh is more than £60,000 higher than before the coronavirus pandemic, estate agent and law firm Lindsays said last week.