Rents in Scotland up 0.9% during 2018, latest lettings index shows

Private sector rents in Scotland increased by 0.9% nationally in the whole of 2018 to an average of £576 per month but some locations recorded double digit growth, the latest index shows.

Rents increased the most in Glasgow with an annual rise of 12.7% while there was an increase of 12.2% in the Highlands and Islands, according to the data from Your Move Scotland.

Properties to let in Glasgow are in high demand and in the Highlands and Islands region, the University of Highlands and Islands and Raigmore Hospital are creating demand from students relocating to the area and doctors and nurses from all around the UK.

But, despite the strong annual price growth, there are signs that the market in the Highlands could be slowing down. The annual growth rate has slowed significantly from the 2018 peak, which was 14% in October.

In Edinburgh and the Lothians rents increased by 4% year on year to an average of £691 while in the East of Scotland rents fell by 1.2% to £532, the lowest in Scotland and in the South of Scotland rents were down by 3.4% to £535.

Month on month the biggest increase in rents was in Edinburgh and the Lothians with a rise of 0.5%, followed by a rise of 0.4% in the East of Scotland and 0.3% in Glasgow. Nationally rents were up on a monthly basis by 0.3%.

Yields for landlords fell slights to 4.6% compared with 4.8% in December 2017 but this is still much higher than in England and Wales where the average yield was 4.3% during December. The only regions of England to post stronger returns than the Scottish average was the North East at 5% and the North West at 4.8%.

‘The Scottish rental market ended the year in good shape, with rents up on a national level. Some regions saw much faster growth than the national average, as renters were drawn to Scotland’s two major cities, their surrounding areas and the Highlands,’ said Brian Moran, lettings director of Your Move Scotland.

‘In Glasgow areas along the Clyde, like Ferry Village, are proving popular with tenants for their new build properties and riverside location. It’s a number of hotspots like these that are pushing average rents up,’ he explained.

‘We’re also seeing both East and West Lothian grow in popularity, with tenants happy to do the commute into Edinburgh. As rents rise, there is less focus on the single tenant who wants to live near local amenities such as bars and restaurants and more focus on sharers and families looking for green outside space and good schools. That being said, Edinburgh rents continue to increase, demonstrating the desirability of living in Scotland’s capital,’ he added.

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