Media Release: Strong steady growth for rental market in Scotland

SCOTLAND’S rental market continues to experience strong growth according to a report which reveal a steady increase in rents across most of the country’s key cities.

The latest data report from property lettings portal, Citylets, has shown that the average rent in Scotland stands at £664, a 2.6 per cent rise on quarter one of 2011.

With Scotland’s housing market still flat, the results come as good news for the rental sector, showing that while renting is increasing in popularity rents are not becoming unaffordable.

Citylets’ data report which was established in 2007 has become a well-respected guide amongst landlords, investors and letting agents and is now being used by a wide range of housing professionals including social housing and public policy makers.

Dan Cookson, senior analyst at Citylets, said: “It is welcome news that while the rental market is continuing to expand rapidly in Scotland that on the whole the market appears to be meeting demand which is why increases in rents at the national level tend to be relatively modest.”

“This quarter’s figures are reassuringly steady which has continued to cement the confidence in the rental market. The key thing is that the market is steadily expanding at a time when the housing sales market is still in recovery mode.

“The issue of finding deposits for buying a property is continuing to come under the spotlight and it’s a limitation which can’t be avoided if individuals are looking to buy. It’s clear that many people setting up home for the first time are choosing to rent with the expectation that this will be for several years.”

Dan continued: “The rental market is starting to show real signs of maturity. The recent Government announcement of the introduction of the Tenants Deposit Scheme, as well as the continued growth of the sector indicate that the market is evolving rapidly to cope with the increased demand.

“The recently-announced consultation by the Scottish Government into the private rented sector as well as research commissioned by Glasgow city council have both drawn on statistics produced by Citylets.”

Aberdeen continues to experience the most expensive rents with a three-bed flat in the city peeking at an average of £1200. Average rents in the city saw a moderate rise of 0.7  per cent as a whole. The time to let (TTL) figures for Aberdeen were the most promising with the average TTL falling from 30 days in quarter one of 2011 to 19 in quarter one of 2012. The Granite City’s one-bed rents went up slightly to an average of £574, an increase of 1.1 per cent on the same time last year whilst two-bed rents saw a bigger increase of 1.5 per cent to £864.

Edinburgh and Glasgow both experienced larger increases in average monthly rents.

Edinburgh experienced an overall 2.9 per cent increase in the average monthly rent. Two bed properties are now averaging £720 per month which is a significant rise of 3.7 per cent on the same period of last year, whilst TTL in the city deteriorated somewhat with two-bed properties typically taking  39 days to let which is seven days more than this time last year. Average rent for three bed properties in the capital have now risen to £1,028, a five per cent increase on quarter one of last year.

Glasgow experienced a jump of 10.6 per cent in three-bed rents to bring the average rent to £832. Scotland’s largest city saw one-bed rents rise to £463, a promising increase of 2.9 per cent on the same period of last year. TTL figures in Glasgow also lengthened with one-bed rents experiencing the biggest increase to 40 days from 34 which suggests there is plenty of choice for tenants.

Dundee is the most affordable city in Scotland with rents for two-bed properties standing at £534, this figure is down by 6.6 per cent on the same quarter of last year. This is due to the increased volume of properties that are being advertised in more affordable areas of Dundee so it is predicted that these figures will fluctuate less in future quarters.

The report and associated rental maps are available for download here: was launched in 1999 and is Scotland’s most successful lettings portal. Its quarterly report is the country’s only detailed and independent barometer of the rental market, based on over 50,000 annual lettings from more than 300 agents.

The next Citylets quarterly data report, showing the rental figures for Scotland during the second quarter of 2012, will be published in July.

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