The rental market in Scotland slowed in the run-up to the general election last month, with rental prices falling across many areas in May compared with the previous month, new figures from Your Move Scotland shows.
The average property north of the border now rents for £561 per calendar month, which is down 2.3% month-on-month, but still 2.2% up on the £549pcm recorded in May 2016.
It was a mixed picture across Scotland in May, with prices in major city centres continuing to perform strongly, along with rural areas such as the Highlands and south of Scotland, despite the overall downturn in rental values.
Four of the five regions surveyed saw rents increase in the last year, led by the south of Scotland where rents increased by 8.8% in the last 12 months.
The other regions to post increases in the last 12 months were the East of Scotland, up 3.3% year-on-year, the Highlands and Islands (+3.2%) and the Edinburgh and Lothians region (+2.6%).
The Glasgow and Clyde region was the only to post a fall in prices year-on-year, dropping back 0.3% compared to May 2016.
On a monthly basis the same pattern was repeated as only Glasgow and Clyde saw a decline in average rent. Prices here fell 1% between April and May, to stand at £564 per month.
Brian Moran, lettings director at Your Move Scotland, said: “With the general election taking centre stage throughout May, it should come as no surprise that rents ticked down from their previous level.
“Prices in most areas remain above where they were a year ago, with growth coming across a number of areas.
“Tenants are drifting towards city centre living or completely rural life as it was these areas which saw the most interest during May.
“The Highlands and Islands saw prices rise sharply compared to last month while in the South rents are 8.8% more than a year ago.”