Positive start to 2017 for Scottish rental market, latest buy to let index shows

The lettings market in Scotland recorded a positive start to 2017 with average rents at £571 per month and Edinburgh and the Lothians seeing the strongest growth.

The East of Scotland including Fife, Dundee and Perthshire remain the cheapest place to rent a home, according to the data from the Your Move Scottish buy to let index.

Rents grew faster in Edinburgh and the Lothians year on year with an annual rise of 3.3% to an average of 3.3%, although they were flat month on month.

The Highlands and Islands region also recorded high rents at an average of £584 but they are down by 4.3% compared to a year ago, the biggest faller during that period, while in the South of Scotland rents increased by 2.7% year on year to an average of £555.

The only other region to post a year on year fall was Glasgow and Clyde where prices have ticked down 0.9% since January 2016 to an average £566 while the cheapest place to rent is the East of Scotland at £533 per month, 1.3% higher than a year ago and up 0.4% month on month.

Across the whole of Scotland the average rent stood at £571 in January 2017, this compared to £573 in December 2016 and £548 in January 2016.

In January 2017 the average yield was 4.9%, the same as in both January 2016 and the previous month. The index report points out that this yield also compares strongly to property investment in other parts of the UK.

Indeed, landlords in Scotland continue to see much better returns than the average investor in England and Wales, where the average yield in January stood at 4.6%. Only landlords in the North East and North West regions of England enjoyed better returns at 5.3% and 5% respectively in January.

‘It was a strong start to the new year for many landlords across Scotland as rents continued to perform well. Edinburgh and Lothians is the best performing region with prices growing faster than anywhere else in Scotland,’ said Brian Moran, lettings director of Your Move.

‘Despite new government rules which cut tax relief on buy to let properties, yield levels have remained strong in the past 12 months. Yields are exactly the same as a year ago and this suggests the Scottish rental market continues to attract quality investment into its housing stock,’ he added.