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Scottish rents jump 5% in a year

Rental prices in Scotland increased further in the fourth quarter of 2018, the latest data shows.

The Scottish national average increased to £771 per calendar month, up 5% year-on-year, and takes just over a month to let at 32 days, amid growing demand for rental accommodation, especially larger properties, as reflected by a 10.9% rise in average rents for four-bedroom properties, according to the latest Citylets Report for Q4 2018.

Gillian Semmler, communications manager at Citylets said: “It has been interesting to note that the largest rises in Scotland’s PRS in recent quarters have been for the larger three and four bedroom properties.


“With an estimated 90,000 families in Scotland, representing around a quarter of the rented sector, the PRS has become a significant tenure for adults with children.”


Rents in Edinburgh once again moved upwards recording a substantial 7.8% annual rise to £1,095 per month. Tenants will almost certainly experience a continuing rise over the course of 2019, however, it remains to be seen if this return to over 7% growth will be sustained.

The steepest rise was recorded for four-bedroom properties at 10.3% Y-O-Y and 48.6% on the 10-year view. Overall Edinburgh has recorded 6.5% growth over five years and 4.3% over ten. The market continues to move very quickly with an average Time to Let (TTL) of just 23 days.


The private rented sector in Glasgow continues to experience strong demand with larger properties, as per Edinburgh, recording the largest gains. Overall, rents in the city rose 3.9% as at Q4 2018 to average £771 per month.

With Aberdeen continuing to fall, the gap between Scotland’s largest city and the Granite City widened to £56 per month and is expected to widen further in 2019. The market is moving swiftly at 25 days on average with one and two bedroom properties in particular letting quickly at 20 and 25 days on average.



The North East posted several positive economic indicators for 2018 such as office space uptake, but as yet this has not fully stabilised the rental market.

Rents continued to ease down in Q4 2018 at minus 5.3% Y-O-Y, however, this remains in the 3-6% range that has characterized 2018. Property to lease in Aberdeen now averages £715 per month.

Whilst falls have been steep in recent years, from the 10-year view the Aberdeen rental market averages just minus 1.8% per year on the whole. Three-bedroom properties recorded a 2% rise over the year to average £972. Time to Let in the region remains high at 53 days.

Scottish rents jump 5% in a year
Dundee/West Lothian

Dundee had a strong end to 2018 with annual growth of 4.7% and continuing a year that saw positive annual growth throughout. Properties are also renting faster at just 25 days and it remains to be seen whether this represents a step change in a hitherto predictable and stable market. Two thirds of Dundee properties now let within a month with an average rent of £578 per month.

Property to rent in West Lothian again recorded positive annual growth, up 5.1% Y-O-Y to average £699 a month, with a substantial reduction in TTL to 26 days- 13 days faster than the previous year.

Scottish rents jump 5% in a year
Adrian Sangster of Aberdein Considine, said: “2018 was very much a year of transition for the Scottish PRS. Agents, landlords and tenants were continuing to adapt to changes brought about by the new PRT, which went live at the end of 2017. Agents also had to prepare for the introduction of the Letting Agent Register during Q4.

“Any agent who has not applied and continues to trade, does so illegally. Therefore landlords and tenants need to carry out due diligence to ensure the agent they’re using is fully compliant. All this took place at a time when more landlords left the sector in part due to the phased tax changes announced in the 2015 UK budget.”

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Poll: Has Scotland been overlooked as a buy-to-let hotspot?


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    I would say this is very late data rather than the latest data. Scottish landlords have known this for over a year, ever since the SNP's war on landlords removed our right to set fixed term tenancies and allowed tenants to leave any time on 4 weeks' notice. Larger properties can't be let to more than 2 unrelated adults unless a licence costing around £2000 for the first 3 years is obtained. This also needs costly alterations and annual checks, hence over 10% rises. If the rest of the UK wants evidence of the effects of loony anti landlord legislation, it's in this article.

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    • 06 February 2019 11:01 AM

    Basically being a Scottish LL with a dopey SNP Govt is a veritable deathwish.
    With the bonkers SNP policies being imposed on the PRS it is no wonder rents are increasing as many Scottish LL abandon the sector.
    Investing south of the border currently makes more sense.
    However English LL cannot be complacent.
    I guarantee that the UK Govt is very carefully observing what the SNP are doing to the PRS.
    Using the Scots as an experiment is usually what the UK Govt does before it introduces very similar policies to England.
    So even though English LL are suffering from existing bonkers anti-private LL policies don't underestimate the possibilities that Scottish type polices will be added into the English mix.
    I for one had not been aware that letting to more than 2 unrelated people occasioned a whole raft of required expenditure.
    If the Scottish experience is imposed on the English PRS that doesn't bear thinking about!!
    Even more reason for English LL to consider their position.
    It has been because of the AST, S21 and S8 that has assisted the PRS to prosper with the major reason of rental income being allowed for mortgage potential.
    Removing or reducing the capability of any of these 4 things could return the PRS to the veritable Stone Age, i.e. the 60 and 70's PRS!!!
    This would be devastating for tenants.
    It wouldn't bother LL that much as they would just stop being LL.
    Very few LL need to be LL but tenants desperately need the LL to be so.
    It is the case that without leveraged LL there will never be sufficient rental stock able to be provided.
    Govt policies seem to be aimed at PRS LL who have the temerity to use borrowed money to provide a service.
    It seems that Govt has a Genocidal policy to exterminate all leveraged LL.
    Well at least the little ones!!!
    It is clearly a crass policy as the Irish Govt has discovered but until the UK Govt sees the full detrimental effects of its bonkers policies the Genocide will continue!!!
    I cannot recollect in history when a whole UK business class has been exterminated by policy.
    Though I suppose the numerous Jewish pogroms perpetrated by various British Kings and Queens could be considered as such an atfack on a whole business class in that Jews were restricted to moneylending business which they had stolen from them by the King and then killed!!.
    Well I suppose we haven't reached that stage........................yet!!
    Though with the vitriol expressed by many about private LL there would be many in the UK population who would have no problem in stringing up some PRS LL!!
    Govt is whipping up the hatred with their stupid policies as they naively attempt to garner tenant votes by attacking defencelesss LL.
    The Govt should be ashamed of themselves with what they are doing to the leveraged PRS.


    Funnily enough, I am actually quite happy with the consequences of the SNP in that my rents on a 4 bed flat let to 4 students (with a mandatory HMO licence for 3 or more) having risen from £1500 to £2100 per month over the last 2 years, with £2250 in the pipeline for this June onwards. Lots of LLs have sold up, so I had 17 groups chasing 1 flat last June because of SNP policies. The major risk is tenants leaving in May when graduating but new tenants not wanting in until September. Having high quality well positioned properties mitigates against this but marginal properties could be in trouble come May this year.

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    Simple lesson, you interfere in Private business and there are consequences for end users ( customers aka TENANTS. ! )
    Govt think they're hood-winking Tenants ( and they're pretty much getting away with it ) into believing that legislation past is for tenants benefit, WITHOUT the realisation of the consequences to Tenants = Rent increases - same happening in England.

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    • 06 February 2019 13:25 PM

    @Robert Brown
    Yep I believe your experience just proves the truism that someone always benefits from adverse circumstances.
    Your exact circumstances are fortuitous as you describe so that you benefit as a consequence of the bonkers SNP policies.
    I suggest more through luck than judgement but then much of business is a result of this.
    Of course whilst you have benefited which for you is personally great news the ones really suffering that you have identified are the 17 other tenants chasing a tenancy with you alone due to scarcity of properties for all the reasons that have been discussed.
    Nobody least of all the SNP seems to have any empathy for these tenants that their policies are affecting resulting in rental property scarcity and increasing rents on the remaining availble rental property.
    Nobody especially not the SNP will advise these desperate tenants why there aren't so many rental properties available anymore.
    To give such advice would be for the SNP to effectively condemn their own bonkers PRS policies!!!
    Perhaps then it will be left to LL like you to explain to these poor tenants why there is a shortage of rental property.
    Shelter in Scotland aren't exactly being effusive with relevant explanations to homeless and aspirational tenants.
    It seems there is very much a political conspiracy to treat tenants like mushrooms!!!
    It doesn't look likely that this situation will change anytime soon.
    In the meantime LL can be blamed because tenants don't know any different.
    All you can do as a LL is to try and impart the info to these tenant applicants.
    It seems from what you are suggesting that it cannot be too long before sealed bids for tenancies start to occur!!

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    The crazy thing is that allowing 3 unrelated adults to occupy any 3 room flat would allow around 20,000 students to occupy under 7000 flats instead of 10,000 - releasing over 3000 for occupation by others, including families. However the SNP "government" and local council are currently "consulting" on the "overprovision" of HMO properties when all the evidence is of underprovision!

  • John Socha

    Just remember, all dumb laws are tested on the Scots first.
    Recall the super policy success known as the Poll Tax?


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