Nearly a third of prospective buyers in Scotland would consider renting out a room in their new home to defray the cost of higher interest rates and utility bills.

The survey by the UK's biggest housebuilder, Barratt Developments, also shows a trend towards shared homeownership as consumers struggle to buy solo. And among those already on the property ladder, half would downsize to a cheaper home to save money on bills.

Doug McLeod, regional managing director for Barratt Developments Scotland, said there is "no doubt" that the cost-of-living crisis has changed the way people buy homes.

READ MORE: Scotland property: Areas with biggest price rises and falls revealed

"Worries around rising interest rates on mortgages, inflation and energy bills have seen people consider new ways to generate income, including renting out a spare room," he said. "We also expect to see apartments grow in appeal, thanks to lower costs and convenient locations in city centres, close to workplaces and entertainment.

“While the current economic outlook has undoubtedly impacted buyer behaviour, our research shows that people are still more confident than not in the UK housing market. With this in mind, we have launched a variety of schemes to support those looking to invest in property, including mortgage contributions and deposit help for first time buyers.”

The Tackling the Cost of Living Crisis 2023 Report by Barratt Developments found that 31% of prospective buyers in Scotland are considering buying and renting out a room for additional income. A third of those surveyed are considering buying with a friend or family member, and 44% are considering an apartment instead of a house to save money. 

READ MORE: Scotland property: Average house prices pass £200,000

The latest Nationwide Price House Index released this morning shows that prices across the UK fell to an average of £259,153 in August, down 5.3% on the same period a year earlier. The biggest decline was among detached houses.

“There are signs that buyers are looking towards smaller, less expensive properties, with flats seeing a smaller decline," said Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide.

"This shift may, in part, reflect the ending of the Help to Buy scheme, which helped those with a smaller deposit purchase a newly built home. Flats have also remained relatively more affordable; average prices have risen by only 13% since the onset of the pandemic, compared with 23% for detached properties.”