The number of first-time buyers rose by a fifth during the first half of the year, as houses became more affordable, a survey has revealed.
There were about 9,000 first-time buyers in the first six months of 2012, up 21% from the same period in 2011, when there were 7,700, according to the Bank of Scotland's first-time buyer review.
Meanwhile, the proportion of affordable Scottish towns and cities has risen to its highest level since 2005.
The average house price paid by a first-time buyer in June 2012 was affordable for someone on average earnings in 93% of all local authorities, up from 75% a year ago, and more than double since the peak of the housing market in 2007, when only 43% were affordable.
South Ayrshire is the most affordable area for those getting onto the property ladder while Aberdeenshire is the least affordable.
Scotland, as a whole, is the third most affordable UK region.
Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Bank of Scotland, said: "With first-time buyers forming a vital part of the Scottish housing market, it is clearly encouraging that the number of those getting onto the property ladder for the first time may well increase this year, albeit from a historically low level.
"This partly reflects the substantial improvement in home affordability for first-time buyers since 2007, following the fall in house prices over the period.
"However, the continued uncertainty over the outlook for the Scottish economy and the difficulties faced by many in raising the necessary deposit remain significant hurdles for those wishing to buy their first home."