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Scottish PRS continues on set path

Tuesday 25 April 2017

The Scottish PRS continues to prove very robust to geopolitical change as it plots a predictable path in Q1 2017. Contrasting forces from the central belt and Aberdeen result in a balancing act at just 0.1% year on year national growth.

The latest Citylets Quarterly Report for Q1 2017 highlights the shifting plates in Scotland’s private rented sector. Strong gains in the central belt continue to be countered by falls in Aberdeen resulting in an ongoing struggle at the national level with just 0.1% growth year on year to stand at £768 per month.

Rents in Edinburgh have broken back through the £1000 per month mark. Aberdeen has fallen to national average but, with the rate of decline continuing to ease, looks set to level off over the course of 2017. However with Glasgow continuing to rise, on current trends it will overtake the granite city as Scotland’s second priciest city to rent.

Thomas Ashdown, Managing Director and Founder of Citylets, said:

“The Q1 numbers are noteworthy on a number of levels including Aberdeen now seemingly finding its new level and likely to level off by the end of the year. Glasgow, historically a social rent city, looks set to overtake the UK’s oil and gas capital in Q2 - something nobody would have predicted just three years ago - and Edinburgh reached its highest ever level.”

“Strong growth has returned to the central belt at circa 5%, slightly down on the longer term trend of 6% and possibly representing a new norm for the major cities in the region. The findings also represent further evidence of the pressing need for Built to Rent and other related initiatives to be rolled out to increase supply for the benefit of the Scottish housing market.”

Edinburgh

Having fallen below £1000 in Q4, rents in Edinburgh broke back through the £1000 mark to reach a new all time high of £1023 per month - up 5.2% on last year. The larger three & four bed properties showed impressive TTL figures with 38% of four beds renting within a week and 83% within a month, driven by the frenetic student market which begins in the capital early in the new year.

Glasgow

Rents in Scotland's largest city continue to climb and, with just £28 between them, Glasgow is now fully expected to overtake Aberdeen in Q2 or Q3 of 2017.

The average property in Glasgow now lets at £740 per month, an all time high for the city and growth of 4.2% over the last year. TTLs are broadly the same as Q1 2016 at 30 days.

Aberdeen

At minus 11.2%, growth in Aberdeen has again improved for the 3rd consecutive quarter and seems on track to level out towards the end of the year. Average rents in the granite city now stand at £768 per month with Time to Lets virtually unchanged on Q1 2016 at 54 days.

Dundee & West Lothian

Rents in Dundee rose in Q4 2016 but are down slightly year on year at minus 1.6%, £610 per month on average. TTLs were again down four days over the year at 48 days. West Lothian posted strong growth at 5.3% year on year to £656 per month and the region is now one of the most consistent risers in the country, influenced by its close proximity to Edinburgh.

Looking ahead, it is likely that National growth will move on from its current zero sum game status as drag from Aberdeen abaits and growth in the central belt continues.