A REPORT published by The Bank of Scotland has shown that the Borders is the fifth least affordable area for new borrowers.
The study showed that first time buyers and those taking out new mortgages have 23.9 per cent of their disposable income taken up by mortgage repayments.
Although this figure is lower than the UK average of 26 per cent, it is the fifth highest in Scotland – East Ayrshire sits at just 15 per cent.
Local MSP John Lamont said:“Many of us know just how hard it can be to get onto the first step of the property ladder, so it is welcome that mortgage repayments for first time buyers take up considerably less of their disposable income than five years ago.
“To be lower than the UK average is also positive. However, new borrowers in the Borders are still paying more of their disposable income than the majority of Scotland and there is clearly room for improvement.
“We need to do more to help and encourage first-time buyers to invest in our housing market. We need to ensure that mortgage repayments become less of a burden, and to achieve this banks will have to take steps towards offering lower repayment schemes.”
Mr Lamont added: “The housing industry in the Borders is vital for our local economy, but we are discouraging new borrowers by being unaffordable compared to other areas of Scotland. The banking industry has the power to help this situation by offering better mortgage rates for our region and I hope they can take action to see this happen.”