Homeownership is at risk of becoming out of reach for many due to a “perfect storm” of soaring house prices and rising interest rates, an MSP has warned.

Jackie Baillie was speaking as new Office for National Statistics figures show average house prices in Scotland rose by an alarming £23,929 between May 2021 and May 2023.

Although house prices in West Dunbartonshire have fallen since January this year, they have still risen by £5000 over the last two years to £130,225.

Rising interest rates have pushed mortgages to their highest point in 15 years and Ms Baillie blasted government inaction on this “double whammy” and called on both Holyrood and Westminster to do more to support people through this crisis. 

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She 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 during the last two years and rising interest rates have pushed mortgages through the roof and priced out potential first-time buyers. 

"This is putting more pressure on the social housing sector as well and is causing a vicious circle."

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

Ms Baillie added: “My office is dealing with people on a daily basis who cannot find a home to suit their needs and this is just adding to the problem.

“People aspire to owning their own home but this will now be an impossible dream for many while 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.”

In nearby Argyll and Bute, in the 12 months to May 2023, house prices rose by 3.1 per cent from £181,640 to £187,287.

From May 2021 to May 2023, the Bank of England interest rate spiralled from 0.1 per cent to a jaw-dropping 4.5 per cent.