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Rents in Scotland have crept up to an all-time peak, despite an overall cooling in annual growth this year, according to the latest buy to let index. The average residential rent in Scotland now stands at £539 per month, the highest level on record after a 0.2% rise in November, says the data from Your Move, one of Scotland’s largest lettings agent networks. But on an annual basis, rent rises are stabilising after a slowdown in growth. Average monthly rents across Scotland have climbed 2.2% over the past year, consistent with the annual growth recorded last month. The average monthly rent has increased £12 from £527 in November 2013. This shows a considerable slackening from 3.5% annual rise over the year to November 2013. At their fastest pace, annual rent growth reached 4.3% in February 2014, according to Christine Campbell, regional managing director of Your Move. ‘Scottish rents have been steadily edging forwards, and despite only taking baby steps, they reached a new pinnacle in November. Demand and supply are still out of kilter, and in highly sought-after employment and cultural nerve centres like Edinburgh, this overflowing competition for homes to let has topped up rent prices,’ she said. ‘But the outlook has shifted starkly from the start of this year, and annual rent rises have been trimmed back to healthier levels, as usual market forces check the rate of growth. In real terms, average rents across Scotland are only 1.2% higher than they were a year ago,’ she pointed out. She also explained that speculation over how future rental caps or more stringent letting controls may disorientate the stable direction rents are currently moving in and any spike in rents would hurt thousands of households who depend on private rented accommodation. ‘Renters rely on landlords too. Increased investment into the sector is the only way to alleviate the strain of the current housing shortage and soothe competition for rental homes. If buy to let investment dries up, and the pool of properties to let contracts, rents will swallow the shortfall and eat into tenant finance,’ she added. A breakdown of the figures show that rents have increased on a monthly basis in just two out of five regions of Scotland in November. The East saw the fastest monthly uptick in average rents, up 1.1% from October. Edinburgh and the Lothians was the only other area of Scotland to record a rise, with 0.4% growth taking prices to a record of £617 per month. Rental prices dropped over the majority of Scottish regions between October and November. The South saw the greatest monthly fall of 0.3%, with average rents dipping £2 to £485 in November. Average monthly rents across the Highlands and Islands slipped back 0.2%, and have dropped 0.1% in Glasgow and Clyde since October. On an annual basis, rents are higher than a year ago in three out of five regions of Scotland. The biggest year on year… Continue reading →
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