Gardens grow in popularity

The number-one priority for first-time buyers in Scotland is not transport links or proximity to trendy restaurants but having their own garden, according to research carried out by Yorkshire Building Society.

For over half (52%) of potential first-time buyers in Scotland, having a garden is also a priority, with 44% of actual first-time buyers agreeing that outside space is important.

Family is another key factor, with a quarter (25%) of potential first-time buyers in Scotland wanting to live near their families, growing to nearly a third (32%) of actual first-time buyers.

Other key attributes looked for in first homes in Scotland include:

* Sixteen per cent of potential first-time buyers would like to live near friends; however, this proportion is reduced to 14% of actual homeowners, suggesting it is ultimately a less important consideration.

* Potential first-time buyers in Scotland prefer to be careful with their property choices, with 27% stating that it is important for a property to be low-maintenance. Nearly a third (31%) of actual first-time buyers would agree potentially because they have experienced the reality of running a household.

* One in five of potential Scottish first-time buyers say they would be prepared to buy a smaller house if it was in a more desirable location. However, space appears to be important and only 8% of actual first-time buyers would be willing to compromise on space for an improved location after the experience of owning a property.

* Thirty per cent of potential first-time buyers feel it is essential to live near good public transport. This figure, however, is lower for those who have already bought their first home (20%)

The full report is available from Yorkshire Building Society by visiting