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Strong demand pushes up rents in Scotland

Average rents in Scotland continued their upward trend in the third quarter of the year on the back of strong demand from renters, the latest Citylets report shows.

The Scottish property portal reports that average rents in Scotland ended Q3 2018 at an average of £789 per month, up 2.2% compared with the same period last year.

Continued demand for properties of all sizes pushed rents higher with four-bedroom properties, as per previous two quarters of 2018, recording the steepest annual growth at 5.5%.


Thomas Ashdown, managing director of Citylets, said: “Strong demand for rented accommodation in Scotland continued in Q3 2018, most notably in the central belt where both Edinburgh and Glasgow experienced rental growth in excess of recent quarters.

“The continued shift in demographic towards families renting appears evident in the uplift in rents achieved for larger properties.”


Once again rents in Edinburgh rose during Q3 2018 bringing the market to yet another all time high, now at £1,107 per month on average, up 5.6% year-on-year.

All property sizes recorded strong annual growth with four-bedroom properties rising fastest over the year at 10.8%, in part likely to reflect the continued strong demand for family rental accommodation.

Of concern to tenants will be the uptick in the rate of growth for Edinburgh back to the 5-6% range after lying in the 3-4% range for around a year prior to Q2 2018.

It is the 36th consecutive quarterly recording of annualized rental growth for the capital.

TTLs remain very low in Edinburgh with 76% of all properties to rent in Edinburgh let within a month.


Glasgow, for so long the bastion of rental stability in Scotland with consistent and low annual growth, posted an unexpected and sharp rise in average rents of 4.9% Y-O-Y.

Rental properties in Glasgow, on average, now rent at £785 per month and let in just 24 days.

It is unclear why all markets saw large annualized growth over and above what would naturally be expected in the traditionally busiest period of the year.

Consequently, the gap between Scotland’s largest and the granite cities has opened up with a material gap now emerging between them.

It will be interesting to view figures at the end of Q4 to conclude whether a new city dynamic has emerged.


Aberdeen landlords can remain cautiously optimistic that their market may soon level off completely and, with the price of oil having been on an upward trend for nearly three full years, may well start to return to positive growth.

Rental growth as at Q3 2018 was just minus 3.6% with one-bedroom properties posting minus 2.7% growth for the second consecutive quarter.

Of material interest will be the reduction in average TTLs, down 4 days on the previous year to 45. 42% of properties to lease in Aberdeen let within a month, up from 37% in Q3 of 2017.

Dundee/West Lothian/South Lanarkshire/Renfrewshire

Dundee also experienced a rise in the annual growth rate for its rental market, up 3.4% to average £604 per month.

Strong demand for large family and student homes led the rises at 11% and 7.9% respectively.

Nearly half - 48% - of properties to rent in Dundee, let within a month, up significantly on recent quarters.

West Lothian rental market has again posted strong annual growth, up 4.8% to £697 per month, with a significant reduction in TTL of nine days.

Growth in South Lanarkshire continued for the fourth consecutive quarter, albeit easing to 1.9% from 3.8% last quarter.

Reflecting on the Scottish Market, Adrian Sangster of Aberdein Considine, said: “In the north of Scotland we are continuing to experience a market where stock is not an issue, whilst in the south there is insufficient availability of properties to meet tenant demand.

“This is resulting in the almost evitable increase of rent values in the south compared to the continued reduction in the north, albeit at a much slower pace.

“Whilst there are some encouraging sounds from the oil industry with several new projects being announced I do not anticipate it making too much of an impact in the north in the short to medium term. However whilst the country’s legislators seem hell bent on discouraging landlords to remain in the sector I can only see the rental trends in the south continuing unabated.”

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  • icon

    The SNP's war on private landlords has predictably backfired on tenants as landlords pull out of the market and those who are left ensure they reap the rewards of market forces whilst awaiting more draconian misconceived ideology driven measures. This article understates the rental increases in high demand properties, with rents for 4 bed student flats near Glasgow University growing from £1500 to £2100 per month over the last 18 months. Thanks Nicola. Keep your. "reforms" coming!

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Robert's right and I'm sure there's more bad news in store for TENANTS as a result of the Scottish Tenancy changes last December.
    Shame on those who promoted it as 'in the tenants interest '

  • icon

    Thanks for your support. The removal of fixed term leases in Scotland only helps bad tenants hog good properties and prevents good tenants from getting them. Good tenants can virtually always rely on being able to stay long term but the new legislation means good neighbours being lumbered with bad neighbours who can't be easily removed. Landlords also can't rely on good tenants staying long term so need to maximise rents and minimise expenditure on improvements. Only bad tenants win!


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