Scotland’s residential lettings market cools in Q4 of 2016

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The overall Scottish private rented sector (PRS) experienced an “uncharacteristic” annualized dip in Q4. Competing forces of drag from Aberdeen and strong growth in the central belt have impacted the national average for over 2 years with the latter exerting a dominant effect. However a slight cooling in the rate of growth in Edinburgh and Glasgow in Q4 2016 put national figure in the red.

It is expected that Aberdeen will continue to fall throughout 2017 to hit and fall through the national average before bottoming out at its new level while the rest of Scotland’s urban private rented sector is expected to continue its dynamic performance.

Whether growth in Edinburgh and Glasgow, however, can return to their historically high levels of circa 7% growth remains to be seen.

Highlights of Q4 report:
Scottish average in private rented sector at £739 at end of 2016
Edinburgh at £984 (Q3 2016: £1014) up 3.6 per cent year-on-year, Glasgow up at £728 up 3.9 per cent year-on-year, Aberdeen down 15.4 per cent year-on-year at £790, Dundee best performing Scottish city up 4.7 per cent year-on-year to £597
Scotland-wide, 61 per cent of all properties were let within a month for 2016, with an average time to let (TTL) of 31 days
Edinburgh (21 days), then Glasgow (22 days) have lowest average TTL

Thomas Ashdown, Managing Director and Founder of Citylets, said:

“In 2017, the private rented sector is now of unprecedented importance in Scotland’s housing mix and, overall, we see continued positive growth in major urban areas with the exception of Aberdeen. However, the figures suggest that the rate of decline for Aberdeen has stabilized at the reduced level of circa minus 15% and indeed Time To Lets have also leveled out. This all indicates that rents in the city could start to level off and the worst of the boom/bust cycle is coming to an end”

“Average rents in Edinburgh fell back below their record £1000 level recorded in Q3 and it is unclear if the circa 6-7% year on year growth can continue as it has over the last two years. Certainly tenants will take heart from these latest figures and landlords will likely agree that they can also live with them should they continue.”

Founded in 1999, Citylets is one of Scotland’s largest residential letting sites with up to 4 million visitors a year (including 1.4 million unique visitors) and over 400 agent offices advertising over 50,000 properties per year.

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