Looking for an affordable first home close to the Scottish capital? Here's where you should start your search.

When buying your first home, how much you can afford dictates where you decide to look. 

If you're thinking about moving to Edinburgh, we've used Zoopla's data to find the most affordable housing areas in and around the Scottish capital. 

Our figures for average house prices and lending patterns reveal how much a first-time buyer needs to earn and save for a deposit - with the map, below, showing you the postcode areas that are most affordable.

Most affordable areas for first-time buyers in Edinburgh

Map of affordable housing in Edinburgh

(Click on map for larger version)

Quick stats about Edinburgh:

  • The average first-time buyer property (two-to-three-bedroom house) in Edinburgh and the surrounding area costs £218,391 with the average deposit required being £29,483.
  • The average income needed from a first-time buyer household is £47,298.
  • The most affordable area is EH52, which comprises Broxburn, Uphall and Winchburgh and is just over 10 miles to the west of the city and just north of Livingston. The average house price for first-time buyers in the area stands at £138,031, requiring a deposit of £18,634 and a household income of £29,849.
  • For affordable housing slightly closer to the centre of Edinburgh, head east to Musselburgh on the coast of the Firth of Forth and EH21, where the average first-time buyer home costs £161,724.
  • The most expensive options for first-time buyers can be found in EH2, which incorporates New Town, the commercial centre of the city that includes the famous Princes Street. The average first-time buyer property here costs £415,907 and is almost 14 times the average salary of those already living in the area.

Top 10 most affordable postcode areas in Edinburgh and the surrounding area

Postcode

Area

Average house price

Average deposit required

Average household income required

EH52

Broxburn

£138,031

£18,634

£29,849

EH22

Dalkeith

£143,678

£19,397

£31,070

EH53

Livingston

£146,066

£19,719

£31,587

EH27

Kirknewton

£157,632

£21,280

£34,088

EH21

Musselburgh

£161,724

£21,833

£34,973

EH26

Penicuik

£162,033

£21,874

£35,040

EH28

Newbridge

£162,634

£21,956

£35,170

EH20

Loanhead

£163,400

£22,059

£35,335

EH17

Gilmerton, Moredun

£150,945

£18,868

£33,019

EH13

Colinton, Oxgangs

£154,577

£19,322

£33,814

How have we calculated it?

By looking at the average price of two-to-three-bedroom homes - the most common type of property purchase for first-time buyers in Edinburgh.

We've then taken the average mortgage advance from lenders in the region, and worked out both the average deposit required and the amount that needs to be earned based on buyers being able to borrow up to four times their salary.

How can I afford a home as a first-time buyer?

Building as big a deposit as possible is the first step. This will allow you to gain a better mortgage rate because you will be borrowing a lower percentage of the overall value of the property.

Aim for a minimum 10% deposit. It is possible to put down less in some cases, but this means your monthly repayments will be higher.

The Government's dedicated Help to Buy schemes can help. With the Equity Loan scheme, for example, the Government will lend you 20% of the purchase price interest-free for the first five years. This means first-time buyers can put down as little as 5% for a deposit, but it is only available on new-build homes up to a value of £600,000.

Provided your credit score is in good order and your outgoings do not limit your ability to repay a mortgage, banks and building societies will typically lend up to an average of four times your salary. If you are buying as a couple, then combining your incomes can make a marked difference.

Knowing how big a deposit you have accrued and understanding how much you might be able to borrow, means you can assess how much you can afford to spend on a property. You can then begin your search.

Keep in mind that other expenses will crop up, such as solicitor fees and moving costs. The good news is that stamp duty land tax is waived for first-time buyers on the first £300,000 of the purchase.

For more help purchasing your first home, read our first-time buyers guides here.

First-time buyer affordability in Scotland 

As our map, below, shows, those looking to buy in Edinburgh need to accept that property prices are going to be higher than in the majority of the rest of the country. 

The good new is that you do not need to head far from the capital before property becomes far more affordable.

Simply looking north of the Firth of Forth in the direction of Dunfermline or Kirkcaldy widens the options for those with a household income of less than £30,000.

Or head east towards Glasgow or south to the Scottish Borders for more choice on a limited first-time buyer budget.

To the west, look in the direction of Berwick-upon-Tweed, just over an hour's drive from Edinburgh.

Map showing affordable housing in Edinburgh for first-time buyers

(Click on image for larger map)

First-time buyer affordability in the UK

Scotland fares well against the rest of the UK when if comes to affordable housing for first-time buyers, as our map, below, shows.

Regions that are similarly valued include the North East, the East Midlands and South Wales.

But it is worth noting that while the UK-wide map might provide a helpful overview, the property market fluctuates on a far more local level and you need to take a closer look at locations, like we've done with Edinburgh, above, to seek out value.

Map showing affordable housing in the UK for first-time buyers

Full methodology: House prices taken from a subset of Zoopla-partner Hometrack's stock valuation database (one-to-two beds for London and two-to-three bedrooms for rest of UK). Median price calculated as of June 2018. Median advance taken by region (c75% for London, c85% outside of London) from UK Finance. Term of Mortgage: 25 years. Interest rate: 2.00%. Loan to income ratio: 4.0. Earnings required for affordability is greater of those required to satisfy loan-to-income threshold or income required to service the mortgage.

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