Tenant News

Number of Families Calling Scotland’s PRS Home Increases

Rose Jinks - February 6, 2019

The number of families calling Scotland’s private rental sector home has increased, according to the latest Quarterly Report from Citylets, covering the fourth quarter (Q4) of last year.

The letting agent has revealed that rent prices on family homes in the country recorded the greatest growth during the quarter, as Scotland’s private rental sector has become a significant tenure for adults with children.

In Q4 2018, rent prices continued to rise on an annual basis across Scotland, at an average of 5.0%. Strong demand for properties of all sizes in major cities underpinned growth, with larger three and four-bedroom homes recording the strongest gains, as an increasing number of families settle in the private rental sector.

The average property to let in Scotland now costs £771 per month and takes just over a month to let, at 32 days.

Gillian Semmler, the Communications Manager at Citylets, comments: “It has been interesting to note that the largest rises in Scotland’s PRS [private rental sector] in recent quarters have been for the larger three and four-bed 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.”

Edinburgh

Rent prices in Edinburgh once again moved upwards, recording a significant increase of 7.8% over the year to Q4, to an average of £1,095 a month. Citylets believes that tenants will almost certainly experience further rises over the course of 2019, however, it remains to be seen whether the growth of over 7% will be sustained.

The steepest rise was recorded for four-bed homes, at an average of 10.3% over the year and 48.6% on the ten-year view. Overall, Edinburgh has recorded average growth of 6.5% over five years and 4.3% over ten.

The market continues to move very quickly, with an average time to let of just 23 days.

Number of Families Calling Scotland’s PRS Home Increases

Glasgow

The private rental sector in Glasgow continues to experience strong demand, with larger properties, as per Edinburgh, recording the greatest gains. Overall, rent prices in the city rose by an average of 3.9% over the year to Q4, to £771 per month.

With Aberdeen continuing to fall, the gap between Scotland’s largest city and the Granite City widened to £56 a month, and is expected to widen further in 2019.

The market is moving swiftly, at an average of 25 days, with one and two-bed homes in particular letting quickly, at 20 and 25 days.

Aberdeen

The northeast posted several positive economic indicators for 2018, such as office space uptake, but, as yet, this has not fully stabilised the rental market. Rent prices continued to ease down in Q4, at -5.3% over the year. Private rental properties in Aberdeen now cost an average of £715 per month.

While falls have been steep in recent years, from the ten-year view, the Aberdeen rental market averages just -1.8% a year on the whole. Three-bed homes recorded a 2% increase in rent prices over the year, to an average of £972.

The time to let remains high, at an average of 53 days.

Dundee/West Lothian

Dundee had a strong end to 2018, with annual growth of 4.7% continuing a year that saw positive increases throughout. Properties are also letting faster, at just 25 days on average, and it remains to be seen whether this represents a step change in a hitherto predictable and stable market.

Two thirds of homes in Dundee now let within a month, at an average price of £578.

Properties to let in West Lothian again recorded positive annual growth, of 5.1% in Q4, to hit £699 a month. A substantial reduction in the time to let was witnessed over the same period, to 26 days – 13 days faster than the previous year.

Adrian Sangster, of estate agent Aberdein Considine, comments on the figures: “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 [Private Rental Tenancy], 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.”