The latest Citylets Report reveals that the Scottish private rented sector was exceptionally busy over the third quarter of 2020, with pent up demand from tenants released into the market following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Edinburgh flats

Across Scotland, rents were driven higher during the third quarter, rising by 5.4% year-on-year to £865 on average. This growth was particularly concentrated in three and four bedroom properties, which saw a 10.4% and 13.6% year-on-year increase in average rent, respectively.

This increased demand for larger rental properties seems to have been enhanced by tenants looking for more space for homeworking and gardens in the event of further lockdown restrictions.

Citylets state there were predictable rises in demand in picturesque and accessible towns and villages, such as in the Borders and Perthshire. However, they also state that there is no evidence that Scotland’s main cities have been significantly impacted by the pandemic in terms of tenants looking to move out of urban areas.

Edinburgh rental market

Average rent

In Edinburgh, the average rent recorded by Citylets from July to September 2020 was £1,139, down 0.8% compared to last year. All property types recorded a slight decrease in average rent, except for four bedroom properties, for which the average rent rose by 1.3%.

Time to let

As with many other regions, time to let increased in Edinburgh, rising to 46 days, 19 days slower than last year.

In Edinburgh, there was generally a greater excess of rental homes on the market during the spring lockdown. The large choice of property in some parts of the capital therefore contributed to a greater increase in time to let than in other regions.

Best rental yields

Combining ESPC and Citylets data from July to September 2020, one bedroom properties in the EH16 district (Liberton, Cameron Toll, Craigmillar and Niddrie) currently offer the strongest average gross rental yield at 7.4%. Two bedroom properties in this area achieved a 5.7% yield on average.

Two bedroom properties in EH17 (Gilmerton, Moredun and Mortonhall) achieved a 6.3% yield on average and one bedroom properties in EH5 (Granton) achieved 6.1%.

Nicky Lloyd, Head of ESPC Lettings, said: “As restrictions on the Scottish rental market were eased at the end of June, we saw strong demand from tenants looking to find a new rental home in Edinburgh. This demand has cooled slightly as we approach the Christmas period, but we’re finding that rents are staying steady in the capital generally.

“Anyone looking to invest in a buy-to-let property in Edinburgh in the present circumstances should consider seeking expert advice on the best areas and properties, as priorities for some tenants have changed in the last year.”

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West Lothian rental market

Average rent

In West Lothian, the average rent during July to September 2020 was £720, up 1.3% compared to last year. One bedroom properties saw the greatest year-on-year increase in average rent, rising by 4.5% to £516.

Time to let

In West Lothian, the average time to let was 27 days, which is two days faster than last year. One bedroom properties boasted the fastest average time to let of 20 days, five days faster than last year.

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Glasgow rental market

Average rent

The average rent of properties in Glasgow during the third quarter of 2020 was £841, up 4.7% compared to last year. Three bedroom properties in the city boasted the greatest year-on-year increase in average rent, rising by 9.6% to £1,198.

Time to let

Time to let for Glasgow properties increased by nine days year-on-year, to stand at 36 days. One bedroom properties were the fastest to be let out at 20 days, five days slower than last year.

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Find out more

Read the full Citylets report.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Edinburgh buy-to-let market or if you’re a landlord looking for assistance with managing and marketing your properties, get in touch with ESPC Lettings on landlord@espc.com or 0131 253 2487.

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