Scottish first-time buyers – and those elsewhere in Great Britain – are the bedrock of the housing market, according to convex.net. Duncan Samuel, managing director of the online conveyance firm, stated in recent days that Alistair Darling’s recent Budget announcement could have done more to help such consumers. “They are the foundation of the housing market and should have been offered more from the Budget, such as raising the stamp duty threshold,” he added. Mr Samuel concludes that other consumers, such as those on shared-ownership schemes “who will always have the stamp duty bill hanging over them”, could have also been helped by Mr Darling’s Budget. In other news that may interest those looking to buy a house in Scotland, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders for January 2008 suggest that first-time buyers typically took out loans for 88 per cent of a property’s value, down from 90 per cent in December.