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While England, Ireland Property Markets Still Dragging From Eurozone Debt Crisis, Scotland Sees Turnaround

River-Thames-and-the-City-of-London-at-dusk-uk.jpg First-time buyers in Scotland are finding mortgages far easier to obtain than their counterparts in Ireland and England, according to the most recent analysis from London-based Property Wire.  The Eurozone debt crisis continues to hamper a recovery in most of the United Kingdom.

London-based LSL Property Services reports Scottish home sales increased by 21% in July. . Sales have dropped in the Orkney and Shetland Islands, but overall Scottish residential real estate has recovered to sit just 0.5% below the average overall fall in prices.

The new LSL Property Services/Acadametrics index shows the average house price is now £145,622 ($236,673 US) and it also shows that first time buyer sales have increased by 9% so far this year, bucking the trend in the rest of the UK. (One British pound equals $1.62 US)

Top locations include Midlothian where prices have increased by £17,000 in the last 12 months and Edinburgh where prices are up £14,000 since July 2011. It means the average overall fall in prices in Scotland is down to just 0.5%.

On a monthly basis, the LSL Index shows Clackmannanshire has seen the biggest price increase, up 19.3%, followed by a rise of 13.4% in the Shetland Islands, 11% in Midlothian and 10.4% in Inverclyde.

At the opposite end, prices in the Orkney Islands have fallen 13.3% month on month, in West Dunbartonshire they are down 11.8%, in the Scottish Borders prices are down 9.8% and down 8% in East Dunbartonshire.

In his report, Richard Sexton, director of E-Sure Chartered Surveyors, part of LSL, says, "Life for first time buyers in Scotland has improved markedly this year. There have been 1,100 more loans to new buyers so far this year than in the equivalent period last year. This has helped push up activity throughout the whole market, with July seeing 1,529 more sales than June."

He adds, "While it isn't all sunshine and roses just yet, first timers in Scotland can at least take solace from the fact life is comparably better for them than their English and Welsh counterparts".

Sexton said, "It's been easier for Scottish buyers to access mortgages this year, and, given we're in the middle of a double dip recession, it augurs well for the future.

"New buyers in England and Wales have to stump up £22,000 ($35,710 US) more on average than Scottish buyers to get a loan, which is a major reason why the Scottish first timer market is moving more freely." 

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