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Surprise fall in the cost of renting property in Scotland

Rents in Scotland have fallen annually as a slowdown in the rate of growth in some markets of the central belt pushed annual national growth into the red in the final quarter of last year, the latest CityLets report shows.

The figures reveal that the average monthly rent was down 0.9% on the year to stand at £739 on average in Q4, which is below the UK average.

Downward pressure from Aberdeen over the last two years is usually countered by around 6% growth in Edinburgh and, more recently, the central belt including West Lothian and Glasgow resulting in overall positive growth.

But the data from the report shows that a slight cooling in the rate of growth in some markets of the central belt drove annual national growth down in Q4 2016.

The pace of the national market remains almost the same over the last year with 61% of all properties let within a month and with an average time to let of 31 days.

Reflecting on the data, Thomas Ashdown, managing director and founder of Citylets, said: “In 2017, the private rented sector is now of unprecedented importance in Scotland’s housing mix and, overall, we see continued positive growth in major urban areas with the exception of Aberdeen.

“However, the figures suggest that the rate of decline for Aberdeen has stabilised at the reduced level of circa minus 15% and indeed time to lets have also levelled out. This all indicates that rents in the city could start to level off and the worst of the boom/bust cycle is coming to an end.”

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