By Bill Heaney

Home ownership is at risk of becoming out of reach for many due to a “perfect storm” of soaring house prices and rising interest rates, Scottish Labour has warned.

New statistics from the ONS have shown that between May 2021 and May 2023 average house prices in Scotland rose by a shocking £23,929.

In the same period, the Bank of England interest rate spiralled from 0.1 per cent to a jaw-dropping 4.5 per cent as disastrous Tory economics caused misery for homeowners.

Interest rates have risen again since, pushing mortgages to their highest point in 15 years and sparking warnings from the Bank of England that huge numbers of people will be paying an extra £500 per month.

Scottish Labour has blasted government inaction on this “double whammy” and called on both Holyrood and Westminster to do more to support people through this crisis. 

Earlier this month, Scottish Labour also raised alarm bells as the number of affordable housing approvals in Scotland decreased by a whopping 50% since 2020 and 18% in the past year alone, adding pressure to an existing housing crisis.

Scottish Labour Housing Spokesperson Mark Griffin, right,  said: “This bombshell has forced home ownership out of reach for thousands of Scots, but the Tories and the SNP are doing nothing to fix it.

“A double whammy of soaring house prices and interest rates has pushed mortgages through the roof and priced out potential first time buyers. 

“What was once an aspiration will now feel like an impossible dream for many, but while they face these difficult times their governments are missing in action.

“Scots cannot be expected to weather this perfect storm alone. We need urgent support for those struggling with housing coupled with long term economic growth to drive prices down.”

Average House Price, Scotland:

2021 May £168,589
2022 May £186,533
2023 May £192,518

Source: https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/housepriceindex/may2023#house-prices-by-country

Interest rates:  https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/database/Bank-Rate.asp

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