SCOTTISH ministers have been urged to support people struggling with a “perfect storm” of rising house prices and soaring mortgage costs.

Labour said the double-whammy risked putting home ownership out of reach for families already hit by the cost-of-living crisis.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics show the average price of a house in Scotland rose by £23,929 in the two years to May.

Over the same period, the Bank of England base rate rose from 01 to 4.5%, sending mortgage bills to their higher levels for 15 years.

The Bank has warned millions will soon be paying an extra £500 a month. 

The number of affordable housing approvals in Scotland has fallen by 50% since 2020 and 18% in the past year, adding to the existing housing crisis.

Labour MSP Mark Griffin said: “This bombshell has forced home ownership out of reach for thousands of Scots, but the Tories and the SNP are doing nothing to fix it.

“A double whammy of soaring house prices and interest rates has pushed mortgages through the roof and priced out potential first time buyers. 

“What was once an aspiration will now feel like an impossible dream for many, but while they face these difficult times their governments are missing in action.

“Scots cannot be expected to weather this perfect storm alone. We need urgent support for those struggling with housing coupled with long term economic growth to drive prices down.”

SNP Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said Brexit and a decade of Tory austerity and economic mismanagement had put household budgets under severe pressure.

She said: “The Scottish Government has repeatedly asked the UK Government to address this, and particularly to support those most impacted by high inflation, interest rates and living costs.

“We have provided almost £3 billion, both last year and this, for policies which tackle poverty and to protect people as far as possible during the cost of living crisis. 

“We also introduced emergency legislation to protect tenants during the crisis, including increased protection for private tenants facing eviction and a temporary rent cap.  

“We remain committed to making £3.5bn available for affordable housing over the current parliamentary session as part of our ambitious plans to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032.

"The number of affordable homes completed in Scotland in the year to end March 2023 is the highest annual figure since 2000.”

The Scottish Tories accused the SNP-Green Government of “running roughshod” over local councils after ministers upheld most appeals by developers last year.

Of 151 planning decisions, 80 were overturned after councils initially rejected plans, or 53%. 

Tory MSP Liz Smith said it was  “typical” of centralising ministers.

She said: “Overruling local authorities in over half of planning decisions sums up the arrogance at the heart of this SNP-Green government.

“They repeatedly act like they know best when it comes to local communities and have rode roughshod over local democracy for far too long.

“Local planning decisions are made best by those who will be affected by them, not by those living many miles away in Edinburgh.” 

A Government spokesperson said: “The vast majority of planning applications are determined by local authorities. Of the many thousands of applications determined last year, just 151 were appealed.

“Most appeals to Ministers are decided by an independent reporter, who is required to take into account local views and make a decision on the planning merits of each case in accordance with the local development plan, unless other factors indicate otherwise.”