The recent recovery of the UK housing market has created an excellent opportunity for many first-time homeowners who have, until recently, been unable to move up the property ladder due to lack of equity and larger deposit requirements.

This predicament has been particularly felt by those who purchased their first home at the peak of the boom in 2007/08, many of whom paid 0-10% deposits and have been sitting on little or no equity for a number of years. Things are now looking up, which is really great news for young homeowners who are hoping to buy a bigger property and/or start a family.

With year on year increases in property values and sales prices – with sales volumes at the end of 2016 reaching their highest level in nine years – the housing market recovery in Scotland is incredibly strong, particularly in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

In the first quarter of 2017, house prices grew by 7.6% – their fastest rate in six years. According to the ­Nationwide house price survey, the rise was the strongest pace of growth since the end of 2007. Furthermore, three- and 12-month forecasts for Scotland suggest that property prices and sales will continue to increase.

At a time when record low mortgage rates are driving up mortgage lending, now is the time for homeowners to cash in on the recent increase in property prices and use their new-found equity to move up the property ladder.

If you are hoping or planning to move up the property ladder, careful planning and research is essential to ensure you secure the most favourable mortgage rates, get the best value for money and can realistically afford your next home. It is essential to look into the equity you have built in your current home as that will most likely be put down as deposit for your next home.

Sometimes though the property market can be a bit of a waiting game. Since you need the right property at the right price to come along, you should keep an eye on what the market offers. You can use our email alerts, for instance, to find what homes come on the market in your desired area.

You will also need to align your savings, earnings and equity so that they all work for you when the right home comes on the market. To get yourself in the best position for the next move, it is important to determine what you can afford, build good spending habits to demonstrate to lenders that you can manage your finances and take steps to improve your credit score to ensure it’s as healthy as possible.

Clyde Property is a leading independent, multiple award winning estate and letting agent with 30 years’ experience in selling and letting property in Scotland. Just call your local Clyde Property branch today, for friendly, impartial advice on finding your next dream home.