The latest Citylets report is out now, and examines in fine detail the Scottish private rental market during the final quarter of 2023 (October to December).

The report highlights that after many months of high-octane demand and rate rises, the rental market finally saw a return to some recognisable seasonality during these traditionally quieter months.

Rents across Scotland continued to rise, but at a slower pace than has been seen in recent years, with the rate of growth easing considerably in many locations across the country. Scotland-wide, rental rates rose in double digits, at 12.9%, but in the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, increases were notably in the single digits. Scotland’s average rent sat at £1,097, with two-bedroom properties once again seeing the largest increase in rates, with a 14.1% annual rise meaning the average cost for this property type was £1,054 per calendar month. The slowing of rental rates was most notable in larger, more expensive properties, with four-bedroom homes seeing the most pronounced drop in rents.

While the rise of rental rates appears to have eased during this quarter, looking back at the data shows that there have been huge increases in the Scottish national average rent over the past five and ten years, rising 42.3% and 61.8% respectively.

Another clear sign that the market may be at the beginning of a return to pre-pandemic norms is that the slowing of the average time to let. Across Scotland, this was four days slower than last year, with the larger cities seeing properties move slightly slower than the average, taking six days longer to let than they did in Q4 2022. However, overall, the market still moved at a brisk pace, with tenants required to act quickly in order to secure a property.

The rental market in Edinburgh

Average rents in Edinburgh

Renting in the Scottish capital remained competitive during the last quarter of 2023 for many property types, with the average private rental rate rising 9.7% to £1,503 – although overall, the increases reported are smaller than in previous months.

One-bedroom properties in Edinburgh attained the largest increase in rents, with the average rate seeing an increase of 14% year-on-year, to £1,052 per calendar month, hinting at a rise in demand from young professionals. This means that the average cost to rent a one-bed property in Edinburgh is very close to the Scottish national average rent for a two-bed property, highlighting the level of additional financial pressure for tenants living in the Capital versus other areas in Scotland.  

This was closely followed by two-bedroom properties, which saw a jump of 10.5% in rental rates meaning the new average was £1,413.

For the first time in an extended period, the average rental rates of four-bedroom properties decreased during this period, declining 3.6% to £2,496.

Time to let in Edinburgh

Properties in Edinburgh took 18 days to let, four days longer than the previous year. One-bedroom properties performed best, taking just 13 days on average to let (although this is three days slower year-on-year).

30% of properties were let within one week, and 81% were let within a month of appearing on the market, which, while impressive, is a contrast to the figures seen even in the report for the third quarter of 2023, showing how much the market has slowed towards the very end of 2023.

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The rental market in Glasgow

Average rental rates in Glasgow

According to the Citylets data, Scotland’s biggest city continued to experience a rise in demand (and rates) during the final three months of 2023. The average rent in Glasgow rose 6.1% annually to £1,179. While this growth is smaller than seen in recent reports, the average rental rate in Glasgow has seen staggering levels of change over the last decade, rising 91.7% since 2013.

Glasgow’s three-bedroom properties recorded the biggest price increase, rising 9% to £1,631 per calendar month.

Time to let in Glasgow

Glasgow’s rental properties moved at pace yet again, taking 19 days to let on average. This is six days slower than last year, indicating that the market was certainly calmer during the last months of 2023. 32% of properties in the city let within a week of being marketed, and 78% were taken within one month.

One-bedroom properties were in the highest demand, taking 13 days to let. 42% of one-beds let within seven days, and 86% were snapped up within a month, proving how competitive the market remained for this property type.

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The rental market in West Lothian

Average rents in West Lothian

The rental market in West Lothian saw another boost in the final quarter of 2023, with average rents for this area rising 10% to £922 per calendar month.

Two-bedroom properties saw the biggest increase of 13.3%, to a new average charge of £828. They were closely followed by three-bedroom homes, with an increase of 13.1% and a new average rental rate of £1,079.

Three-bedroom homes in West Lothian have seen the biggest change in the local market over the past five and ten years, with rental rates rising 47.4% and 74.9% respectively for this type of property.

Time to let in West Lothian

West Lothian saw a flurry of activity pre-Christmas, with tenants rushing to move before the festive season, which means that properties moved at pace.

The average time to let in West Lothian was 18 days, the same as the previous year. However, one-bedroom properties were let in just 11 days, which is 11 days faster year-on-year, and two-bedroom homes were snapped up in only 14 days on average.

43% of one-bedroom homes were let within a week in West Lothian, rising to 100% within one month of appearing on the market. Two-bed and three-bed homes were almost as impressive, with 93% and 90% of these property types being let within a month of being advertised.

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Find out more  

Read the full Citylets report.

Search houses and flats to rent in Edinburgh.   

ESPC Lettings    

If you’re interested in entering the buy-to-let market or are a landlord looking for advice, ESPC Lettings can help. As a letting agent based in Edinburgh, we can assist with all stages of renting out a home, from finding the right property to sourcing tenants to property maintenance.    

Get in touch with the team today on or 0131 253 2847.