Demand for city living continues to rise, pushing average rents to new highs 

The latest Citylets report reveals a busy quarter for Scotland’s rental market, with clear evidence of continued demand for city living, despite a shortage of rental properties. 

The well-documented rising cost of living didn’t appear to dampen the demand for rental property in the Scottish private rental sector, particularly in city locations where students are renting, as well as those working from home and looking for more spacious properties. 

Following unprecedented rises in the capital in Q2 2022, finding property to rent in Edinburgh continued to remain very challenging. 

Average Scottish rents rose 9.9% year-on-year to £970 during this quarter, while the average time to let was 18 days – 16 days faster than the same time last year, however we must account for the fact Scotland was just beginning to recover after the national Covid lockdowns in the 2021 Q2. 

One-bedroom flats, with an average rent of £670, were the quickest to let across Scotland, with an average time to let of 16 days (19 days faster year-on-year). and 38% of these properties being let within one week. However, more spacious properties were also in high demand with three-bedroom flats experiencing the biggest year-on-year rental increase, with average rents for this property type rising 12.5% to £1,327. 

If we compare Scotland’s largest cities, the private rental sector in both Edinburgh and Glasgow experienced significant growth in the second quarter of 2022. Edinburgh’s average rental rate rose 15.1% to a new all-time high of £1283, while market conditions for tenants in Glasgow saw the average rental rate rising 13% year-on-year to £997. Both cities saw substantial demand for one and two-bedroom flats. 


The Edinburgh rental market 

Average rent in Edinburgh 

According to the Citylets report, finding property to rent in Edinburgh continued to remain very challenging with rental rates in the city rising by 15.1% year-on-year during the second quarter of 2022, taking the average rent to a new all-time high of ££1283 per month. Incredible demand saw rental rates pushed up across the city, intensified by a severe lack of available properties. 

Two-bedroom properties saw the most substantial growth, with a 16.5% annual increase driving the average rental rate for this property type to £1160. This means that Edinburgh’s two-bedroom properties have seen a 61.6% increase in rental rates over the past decade, a strong result for long-term property investors. 

All property types (from one- to four-beds) saw growth of over 60% across the past decade, demonstrating how strong an investment the Edinburgh rental market can be for those willing to pursue a longer-term venture. 

Time to let in Edinburgh 

The average time to let for Edinburgh property dropped to 15 days on average during the second quarter of 2022 – this figure is 23 days lower than we saw in the second quarter of 2021. 

One-bedroom properties in Edinburgh let the fastest, in 13 days on average (26 days faster than the same time last year). A total of 45% of one-beds let within a week of being advertised, and 88% were let within one month. 

Best rental yields in Edinburgh 

Combining Citylets and ESPC data, we can reveal that three-bedroom properties in EH8 and three-bedroom properties in EH11 produced the best rental yield in the Edinburgh marketplace, at 6.6% and 6.5% on average respectively. 

Nicky Lloyd, Head of ESPC Lettings, said: “The problem of demand outstripping supply we saw earlier this year has continued into Q2 2022, leading to increased rents and shortening time to let. 

“Student properties have been in very high demand, particularly in the sought-after postcodes of EH3, which covers the New Town, and Marchmont in EH9. 

“Larger properties have been particularly popular in Q2 as those working from home on a more permanent basis seek more space. Three-bedroom homes in the family-friendly areas of EH8, which covers neighbourhoods like Willowbrae and Holyrood offer great investment opportunities for landlords.” 

Get in touch with Nicky to discuss the Edinburgh rental market. 

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The Glasgow rental market  

Average rent in Glasgow 

According to Citylets data, the average rent for property in Glasgow rose significantly over the first quarter of 2022, with rental rates posting an annual growth of 13%, taking the new average rent to £997. 

Following the pattern seen in Edinburgh, two-bedroom properties saw the biggest increase in average rents (16.7%) as demand for this property type grew, taking the average rent to £1,015. This means that two-bedroom properties in Glasgow have seen 63.3% growth over the past decade. 

All property types saw a solid growth in their rental rates over the past year, of at least 11% but demand was clearly strongest for Glasgow’s larger property types with three-bed properties coming in 14.5% higher year-on-year at £1,456. Four-bedroom properties had an annual growth of 14.3%, taking the new average rent to £2,185. 

Time to let in Glasgow 

In the second quarter of 2022, Glasgow’s average time to let dropped to 14 days (16 days faster than 2021), indicating how competitive the private rental market is in the city. 

One-bedroom properties let the fastest, in just 11 days. A total of 51% of one-bed homes let within a week and 91% were let within a month of coming onto the market. 

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The West Lothian rental market 

Average rent in West Lothian 

West Lothian has become increasingly popular in recent months thanks to buyers seeking larger, more affordable homes within easy reach of the Capital. 

However, the area showed more restrained growth compared to Glasgow and Edinburgh, with rental rates across the region rising just 2.9%, taking the new average rent to £757 a month. 

Three-bedroom properties were the most popular, with rents rising 9.2% year-on-year to an average of £856. 

Time to let in West Lothian 

The average time to let in West Lothian reduced by six days year-on-year, meaning properties were let within 12 days on average. 

West Lothian’s one-bedroom properties let the fastest, with an average time to let of just eight days. 

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Find out more 

Read the full Citylets report. 

Search houses and flats to rent in Edinburgh. 

Contact us

If you are a landlord who is looking for an agent to help manage your rental properties, or you're a tenant looking for a new rental home, don't hesitate to contact Nicky Lloyd, our head of lettings, who would be delighted to help. Get in touch on, 0131 253 2847 or using the contact form below