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Residential rents in Scotland accelerated again in March with annual growth of 1.3%, up from 1.1% in February, according to the latest buy to let index. Average monthly rents in Scotland now stand at £539 and they are some 30% lower than the typical rent in England and Wales, the index from lettings agent network Your Move also shows. Total annual returns on rental properties in Scotland reached the highest level on record at 9.7% on average in the 12 months to March 2015, up from 7.2% a year ago. This is equal to £15,000 per property before any mortgage payments or maintenance costs, but taking into account property price growth and void periods between tenants. Buy to let investors in Edinburgh have experienced the strongest annual returns in the last year of 13.4%, equivalent to £27,135 in cash terms. In the month to March, Scottish rents increased 0.3% overall, the strongest monthly uptick witnessed since October 2014, after a winter downtrend. ‘Despite surging demand for homes in the private rented sector, Scottish rents have been treading water in recent months, allowing tenants some valuable breathing space over the winter. Now we’re starting to see growth scale up again in the spring, as the rental cycle starts to gain momentum,’ said Brian Moran, area lettings director at Your Move. ‘But even this is still at very modest levels compared to the rest of the UK with rents rising at less than half the pace as being seen in England and Wales,’ he added. A breakdown of the figures show that on an annual basis, rents have risen across three of five regions in Scotland. In Glasgow and Clyde, rents have seen the biggest increase over the past 12 months, with rents now 3.6% or £19 higher than in March 2014. Edinburgh and the Lothians have experienced a 2.3% jump in rent prices year on year, and the East saw a more modest 0.8% annual rise in rents. Rents have fallen across two regions of Scotland in the last year. The Highlands and Islands witnessed the most significant annual drop, with rents falling 1.9% and in the South of Scotland rents are now 0.1% lower than a year ago. Compared to last month, rents are higher in only two of five Scottish regions. Rents in the South of Scotland saw the biggest monthly uplift in March, but still have the cheapest monthly rents across the country, at £489. Rents in this area have climbed 1.8% since February 2015, as rent growth starts to get back into its stride a long spell of price drops in the latter half of 2014. The only other location to experience a boost in rents in the past month was Glasgow and Clyde, with rents rising 0.3% during March. The majority of regions have witnessed a fall in rents month on month. The steepest drop in rents was in the Highlands and Islands, down 0.6% since February. Edinburgh and the… Continue reading →
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