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 humber 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, Dundee and Aberdeenshire.

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.

Mark Hordern, vice president of the Solicitors Property Centre Scotland, said: “The combination of higher selling prices, faster sales and more sales all suggest a sustained recovery in the Scottish property market, led by stronger demand for flats and affordable family homes.

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.

Findings revealed in the latest report from Lloyds Bank show that this increased equity in first homes is helping homeowners to bridge the funding gap between the sale price of their existing home and the cost of their next property. On average, it is reported that second steppers require to add just £21,005 to their current mortgage.

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank Mortgage Director, said: “Second Steppers are yesterday’s First-Time Buyers and the conditions to help them climb to the next rung on the property ladder are better than they’ve been for over four years.”

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. To get yourself in the best position, it is important to seek impartial advice from an independent mortgage broker to determine what you can afford, build good sending habits to demonstrate to lenders that you can manage your finances and current mortgage, and take steps to improve your credit score to ensure it’s as healthy as possible. Then it’s time to start hunting for your new home!

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.