SCOTS living in the capital are finding themselves priced out of the place they’ve called home for their entire lives.

With house prices across the country skyrocketing, no city in Scotland has felt the acute pressures of the housing crisis quite like Edinburgh.

Famed for its stunning scenery, its rich history and its vibrant culture, it’s become a tourist hotspot and remains the financial centre of Scotland. But some locals are being squeezed out of the city amid surging property prices.

Jo and Terry Irving are looking to move out of their current rented house in the south of the city to finally own their own home.

Both in their early 30s with stable jobs, they’ve managed to save up their 5% deposit for their chosen budget. The only snag though: their budget is just not enough for the Edinburgh market.

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Jo, who works as a pupil support assistant in a private school, said they’ve ruled out buying a house in the place they’ve known their whole lives.

“We both live in Edinburgh at the moment, but it’s just too expensive to buy a house,” she said.

“And the houses in Edinburgh that we can maybe just afford, there’s just too much competition.

“So we have just written Edinburgh off. We both drive so we thought Midlothian or West Lothian.

“But where we’ve been to see we’ve outbid by at least a minimum of £20,000.”

Jo had visited a small, two-bedroom house in Livingstone in April with offers accepted over £125,000.

“We went slightly over by £2000,” she said. “But we were outbid by about £25,000. And the house wasn’t worth that, to be honest, never mind £125,000.

“It was quite old and needed a lot of work. We are finding this issue every time we look for a house.”

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One estate agent told Jo that in her area, houses were being sold for 7% to 15% more than the asking price – something that has to be paid upfront – meaning she’ll likely have to save double or more than she currently has in the bank.

She fears homeownership will only become more elusive as the rising cost of living makes it harder and harder to save.

“The longer it takes us to save, the house prices will go up and up and up year on year. It’s a vicious cycle. You finally save and think it’s enough, but then they all just keep going up again.

“My husband and I both drive to work. My car used to be about £40 to fill the tank, now it’s minimum £60. Our gas and electric have also doubled since last year.

“If things keep rising, we will have to cut back on how much we can save for our deposit.”

A Council Of Mortgage Lenders study showed 80% of new, young homeowners are turning to family for help.

But Irving and her husband find themselves unable to source funds externally.

“We’re in probably the worst position, because our families can’t give us that help,” she said.

“We are also not in a position that we can move in with family to save more ourselves. It feels like we are in an unlucky position.”

While Irving would like to stay in Edinburgh, she just doesn’t see that happening and worries for many locals brought up in the city.

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“It feels like Edinburgh is almost the new London. If you’re born and bred in Edinburgh, you’re being pushed out, really.”

Professor of urban studies at Heriot-Watt, Glen Bramley, who has researched affordability in the housing market, said Edinburgh housing issues were unique in Scotland even as prices nationally boom.

Edinburgh’s healthy economy, its reputation as a good place to live and its buzzing tourism sector, along with Airbnb and second homes, have seen high demand and all contribute to its eye-watering house prices.

The average price of a house in Edinburgh is currently around £320,000. That contrasts to the national picture, with the average Scottish house going for £181,000 in the fourth quarter of 2021.

And even that is up from £93,000 in 2005. At that time, Edinburgh’s average property sold for more than £200,000.

Meanwhile, the median full-time salary in Scotland in 2021 was £31,000, up from around £24,000 in 2005. That means While the average pay may have gone up by £7000 since 2005, the average house price has shot up by more than £88,000 nationally – and £120,000 in Edinburgh.

Bramley said: “Edinburgh is probably unique in Scotland, and its situation has implications for the surrounding areas as well.

“It’s not unique in the UK, we have London and the southeast, but Edinburgh is like a small version of that.”

He said more houses should be built to combat the problem, and he criticised the Scottish Government for not utilising planning powers to ensure a minimum number of social housing is constructed.

“Building more housing is needed where there is demonstrably excess demand, so we should be building houses,” he said. “And in my view, building it closer to the city rather than having people commute in by car.”

The academic said while the capital has begun to build more houses it takes a long time to have an effect on the region’s house prices.

He said more social housing should be built in the city, citing acute pressure on unhoused people in the region.

For those finding themselves significantly outbid when trying to build a new home, Bramley suggested social class played a key role.

Those with parents able to subsidise their purchase would be more able to make a significant bid, he said.

“The growing inequalities in of wealth in our society are behind that,” he said.

As Scotland’s capital city becomes less affordable for many Scots, more will continue to move into surrounding areas such as West Lothian and Midlothian.

But as prices continue to boom nationally, and Edinburgh puts more pressure on its neighbours, some budding first-time buyers may find themselves unable to buy either way.