Residential rents in Scotland up at less than a third in England and Wales
Average rents in Scotland have risen 1.7 per cent in the past year, less than a third of the rate seen in the rest of Britain, according to new figures.
The latest buy-to-let index from lettings agent Your Move found that annual rent growth in Scotland has plateaued after a summer uplift while the rate currently being witnessed in England and Wales over the same period was as high as 6.3 per cent.
The data also shows that rents in Scotland fell 0.3 per cent from August to September 2015, the second consecutive monthly drop in Scottish rents, meaning that the typical rent in Scotland is now 0.8 per cent lower than at its summer peak in July.
The average monthly rent in Scotland was £545 in September 2015, compared to £549 in July 2015. However this is 33.3 per cent cheaper than in England and Wales during September.
The strongest growth was in the Highlands and Islands, with average rents up 6.4 per cent (or £34) since September 2014 to a new high of £572 per month.
Average rents rose by 2 per cent year-on-year to £623 in Edinburgh and the Lothians but fell 2.6 per cent to £555 in Glasgow.
The research also found the proportion of rent paid late has more than doubled to 13.2 per cent in the past year, a record high.
The average landlord had a return, before any mortgage payments or maintenance costs, of £9,000.
Brian Moran, lettings director at Your Move Scotland, used the figures to criticise the Scottish Government’s Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill.
The legislation aims to give private tenants more security and stability, and will allow councils to implement rent controls in high pressure areas.
Mr Moran said: “Scottish rents have been falling for the past few months, and realigning to calmer levels for the autumn. It’s certainly not a sector spiralling out of control.
“This auto-correction and natural flow of the lettings market will be disrupted by artificial interventions from the Government.
“Private sector landlords could soon face a regulatory minefield, and this may dissuade future investment into buy-to-let at a time when we need the sector to grow, not contract.”
He added: “An equally worrying implication is that the bill could be a huge distraction from the bigger picture issue - that is, a lack of housebuilding to meet demand for affordable homes of all tenures across Scotland.”