RENT RISES TUMBLE DURING 2014
· Average residential rent in Scotland dropped 0.4% in December, down to £536 per month
· Scottish rents rise 1.2% in last year, less than a third of the 3.9% annual growth seen in December 2013
· But Edinburgh bucks this trend, with year-on-year rent growth accelerating to 4.5% during 2014
· Tenant finances suffer at Christmas, with 7.2% of rent late - the highest proportion since May 2013
The pace of annual rent growth in Scotland has dropped by two-thirds over the course of 2014, according to the latest Scotland Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move, one of Scotland’s largest lettings agent networks.
Average monthly rents in Scotland are now just 1.2% (£6) higher than a year ago, with growth slowing significantly over the past twelve months from a 3.9% (£20) annual jump in rent prices seen in 2013.
This follows a monthly drop in average residential rents, down 0.4% in December to £536 per month.
Edinburgh & the Lothians is the only exception to this downtrend across Scotland, seeing an uptick in annual rent growth over the past year from 2.5% in December 2013 to 4.5% in December 2014.
Christine Campbell, Regional Managing Director of Your Move, comments: “Annual rent growth has braked sharply over 2014, reducing the speed of rent rises to a sustainable and affordable pace.
“This is providing some welcome relief to the thousands of renters itching to jump on the housing ladder, who are already faced with enough hurdles to saving a deposit.
“Only Edinburgh is moving against the grain, as demand for homes to let keeps on banging at the gates, and fierce competition feeds bolder rent rises than elsewhere across Scotland.
“This wider downturn in growth during 2014 marks a return to the natural market rhythm. Scottish rents were holding fast on an even keel throughout 2011 and 2012, until the abolition of tenancy fees in November 2012 sparked a new tide of unnaturally steep rent hikes. This should act as cautionary tale for policymakers considering further constricting changes to lettings legislation. The rental market is thriving by its own hand, and too much undue intervention may poison the current climate of affordability.
“Scaring landlords out of the rental market would exacerbate the current housing shortage, and wound thousands of tenants as competition hots up. Buy-to-let investment is a vital remedy for the current housing shortage, and for the health of tenant finances.”
Read the full index