Scottish rent rises outpace rest of UK

Taylor Scott International News

Scotland is seeing stronger annual rent growth than England and Wales, with average residential rents up 2.2% compared to a year ago, the latest index shows. In England and Wales monthly rents increased just 1.5% on average in the past year, according to data from lettings agent network Your Move. The average rent in Scotland now stands at £537 per month, back in line with the record set in August this year. Rents climbed a moderate 0.3% in the month to October, recovering from a dip during September. But taking a longer term view, the rate of growth has cooled. Annual rent rises have eased from a 3.2% increase over the year to October 2013. ‘Snags in supply and concerns over potential rent caps are setting the stride in Scotland, but in the longer term, the march of private sector rents is easing back on an annual basis. After years of consistency and incremental adjustments, rent rises quickened rapidly after the changes to lettings legislation made tenancy fees illegal. Instead of facing a one-off payment, tenants saw their monthly rents rise at a much accelerated pace. This market is only just starting to self correct and steady,’ said Christine Campbell, regional managing director of Your Move. ‘The introduction of any further lettings controls or restrictions by the Scottish government could further disrupt what was a healthy and extremely gradual rhythm of rent growth, to the detriment of thousands of renters. Complicating legislation would ostracise existing landlords and discourage new investment in the private rented sector, squeezing the supply of homes to let and simply adding to the bottleneck of the current housing shortage,’ she explained. ‘The private rented sector is the lifeblood of the economy, allowing workers flexibility and accessibility to the jobs market. Tenant demand needs to be balanced by greater availability of homes to let, to protect against unnaturally bloated rent increases,’ she added. A breakdown of the figures shows that on a monthly basis, rents are higher than September across all but one region of Scotland. The biggest month on month increase was recorded in the East, with rents climbing 1.1% between September and October. The data also shows that average rents in Edinburgh and the Lothians set a new peak of £615 per month, following 0.6% growth since September. The only region to experience a price fall on a monthly basis was Glasgow and Clyde where, the average monthly rent dropped £5 or 0.7% in the month to October, to £565. Rents have risen on an annual basis in three out of five regions of Scotland in October. Edinburgh and the Lothians have seen the strongest annual uplift in average monthly rents, rising 5.7% in the 12 months to October. This is followed by a 3.2% annual increase in Glasgow and Clyde, while rents in the East rose 2.2% over the last year. Rental prices dropped across two regions over the year to October. The average monthly rent in the South has fallen 0.5% since October 2013,… Taylor Scott International

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