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Universal Credit update

13 November 2018

With Universal Credit (UC) being in the news so frequently, it's easy to loose track of recent changes and advice. So, to help you, we've highlighted some of the key messages from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and provided links for further information. Read More...

Government announces proposals for new Housing Court

13 November 2018

The Government has launched a consultation which looks at reforming the routes to justice for both landlords and tenants, with the most radical option being to set up a new Housing Court. Read More...

Selective Licensing lowdown

12 November 2018

Selective Licensing and Additional Licensing schemes continue to be adopted by local authorities across the country, despite evidence that suggests they simply do not work. We take a look at few of the most recent ones that have either come into force or will be coming into force shortly, and tell you what we're doing to help you understand them. Read More...

ARLA Propertymark agents report high levels of rental activity in Scotland

Friday 24 November 2017

ARLA Propertymark Protected agents, Galbraith have reported that the Dumfries and Galloway property market remains buoyant and continues to show healthy levels of activity.

The latest figures compiled by Galbraith indicated another strong quarter in terms of residential activity for the firm’s lettings team at the Castle Douglas office, reporting having handled three times the number of property lets than the same quarter last year, and having brought 43% more properties available for let to the market.

Aaron Edgar, of the Galbraith lettings team in Castle Douglas, said:
“Dumfries and Galloway represents a great rental opportunity particularly for those keen to enjoy some rural living and we have witnessed another successful quarter in the lettings sector. Properties have let well and demand remains high for good quality houses within town centres, in particular Castle Douglas and the surrounding area.

“We have seen further demand from rural property landlords seeking advice when it comes to letting out their property given the wide range of statutory requirements they must now comply with. Many of these landlords choose to manage the properties themselves but require guidance with the preparation of the property as well as enacting a tenancy agreement.

"The Scottish Government will introduce its new code of practice and mandatory register for letting agents from 31 January 2018 to improve standards within the sector. Key individuals within a lettings agency must meet a minimum level of training and have the adequate qualifications by September 2018, otherwise they will not be able to continue letting properties. It is therefore advisable to choose a lettings agency that fully complies with the new legislation before it comes into force at the start of next year.

"Galbraith already has agents qualified to the highest level and David Corrie in Castle Douglas is in the process of completing his lettings compliance training."

For more information about the forthcoming changes visit ARLA Propertymark's dedicated Scotland pages

How prices for Dumfries and Galloway have changed
The private rented sector in Scotland has more than doubled in size since 1999, having grown dramatically over the last 10 years, from 224,000 to 394,000 (a 75% increase) compared to the number of owner occupied properties over the same period which has fallen slightly.   

According to Scottish Government official statistics, average (mean) rents in Dumfries and Galloway between 2016 and 2017 have increased for all property sizes, except one bedroom properties. Increases ranged from 1.5%, for two bedroom properties (by far the most common type of property in the private rented sector in Scotland), to 8.8% for four bedroom properties, which compares to CPI inflation of 3.0% across this time period.

Between 2010 and 2017 average rents have increased for all property sizes, from 4.2% to 13.3%, for two and four bedroom properties, respectively. This compares to CPI inflation of 15.9% across this time period, and increases are comparatively low compared to hotspots like Lothian and Greater Glasgow which saw increases of 33.7% and 32.1% over the same period. 

In the latest year, for one bedroom shared and three bedroom properties, increases in the top end (upper quartile) have caused the gap between the top and bottom ends to widen. One bedroom properties have seen the bottom end (lower quartile) fall in the latest year, widening the gap between the two ends in the latest year, but to levels similar to 2015. The gap has stayed the same for four bedroom properties, whilst narrowing slightly for two bedroom properties due to an increase in bottom end rents.

Average two bedroom rents have been lower than the Scotland average in each year since 2010, and the gap has grown over the years, with the average rent in 2017 being £453 per month, compared to the Scotland average of £643.

If you have any insights into the regional property market in your area, get in contact: guyparker@propertymark.co.uk