Statistics on private sector rent levels from 2010 to 2017, released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, revealed that between 2016 and 2017, 15 out of 18 areas of Scotland saw increases in average rent levels for two-bedroom private rental properties, ranging from 0.7% in the Ayrshires to 6.9% in Lothian and 7.0% in Greater Glasgow.
Aberdeen and Shire saw a decrease of 9.6%, the third consecutive annual decrease, which is likely to reflect decreased demand for rental properties following the downturn in the oil industry.
These regional trends combine to show a 4.4% increase in average two-bedroom monthly rents at a Scotland level from £616 in 2016 to £643 in 2017, the highest annual increase since 2010. This compares to an increase in the UK Consumer Price Index of 3.0% in the year to Sept-17.
Over the longer 7-year period from 2010 to 2017, the two areas of Lothian and Greater Glasgow have both seen two-bedroom average rents increase above the rate of inflation of 15.9% over the full length of this time period, with all other sixteen areas of Scotland seeing cumulative rent increases below the rate of inflation.
While figures on average rents across all property size categories are available in the main publication, the main findings are based on two-bedroom properties because these are the most prevalent size of property in the private rented sector.
Over the 7-year period from 2010 to 2017, the Lothian area has seen the highest increase in private rents for two-bedroom properties, with average monthly rents rising by 33.7% (cumulative increase over 7 years), whilst average rents in the Greater Glasgow area have risen by a cumulative 32.1%.
For the remaining areas of Scotland, cumulative increases over the last 7 years have ranged from 0.5% in the Ayrshires to 14.9% in Fife. These regional trends combine to show a 19.9% cumulative increase in average rents from 2010 to 2017 for 2 bedroom properties at the Scotland level.
For the year to end-September 2017, Lothian had the highest average monthly rents for 2 bedroom properties across Scotland (£888). Other areas with high rents included Greater Glasgow (£745), Aberdeen and Shire (£682), and East Dunbartonshire (£653). Areas with the lowest average rents for two-bedroom properties included Dumfries and Galloway (£453), Scottish Borders (£459), and the Ayrshires (£467).
Figures on changes to rents between 2010 and 2017 should be considered in the context of the cumulative increase in the UK Consumer Price Index of 15.9% from Sept-10 to Sept-17.