Nicky Lloyd, Head of ESPC Lettings, looks at what happened in the Scottish Private Rental Sector in 2019, from rising rents in Edinburgh and Scotland, to the Private Residential Tenancy and consultation on short term lets.

Throughout 2019 we experienced political and economic uncertainty, which will invariably continue into 2020. However, the Scottish Private Rental Sector has remained generally stable.

Rent and time to let in Scotland and Edinburgh

Across Scotland rent levels have risen year on year, and time to let has largely remained unchanged.

Rents in Edinburgh have continued to rise for all property types (one–four bed), with the average monthly rent at a record high of £1148. However, we have seen the time to let lengthen by six days to an average of 27 days.

What impact did the Private Residential Tenancy have on the Scottish rental market?

It’s interesting to see that despite initial concerns the Private Residential Tenancy may have brought about the potential high turnover of tenants, that we are experiencing tenants renting for longer periods than ever before. The average tenancy length for Edinburgh properties is 19 months.

Did the increase in the Additional Dwelling Supplement impact the buy-to-let market in Scotland?

From January 2019 we saw an increase in the Additional Dwelling Supplement tax for anyone purchasing a second home or buy-to-let property, from 3% to 4%. Whilst potential investors were unhappy about the increase, it didn’t slow down the buy-to-let market, it simply meant extra budgeting.

Short term lets consultation and results

Short term lets have become the subject of much controversy and in April 2019 the Scottish government published a consultation asking for views on the regulation of short term lets in the country. The results of the consultation were published in October.

According to data, as of May 2019, across Scotland there were 31,884 active Airbnb listings with Edinburgh and the Highlands accounting for 50.5% of these listings. Results of the consultation focused on the positive and negative effects of short terms lets to the local area and community as well as to the contribution to industry.

We await any decision on any potential changes in legislation for this part of the rental market.

How is the Scottish rental market performing?

Certainly, as we approach the end of 2019 political uncertainty remains, and the ability to predict how markets will perform becomes harder.

However, the rental industry stays strong with new investors looking to move into the market, more tenants than ever choosing to rent and renting for longer periods of time and rent levels consistently increasing. Therefore, the Scottish Private Rental Sector does look to be one of the few markets which is continuing to grow.

ESPC Lettings

ESPC Lettings is a letting and property management agent in Edinburgh, with expert knowledge of the local rental market. For expert advice and to find out more about the range of letting services on offer, contact ESPC Lettings today on or 0131 253 2847.

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