Lettingweb: Scottish rental market in good health, but still at risk

Lettingweb: Scottish rental market in good health, but still at risk

Lettingweb, the marketplace for property lettings in Scotland, has released its latest quarterly report on Scotland’s private rented sector (PRS), revealing the organisation’s most in-depth and informative analysis to date.

Within the Spring Report, head of research Dan Cookson presents a healthy PRS which works well for tenants, agents and landlords in most areas of Scotland, but which exposes the localised problems caused by a lack of investment and supply.

Over the past four years the Scottish sector has experienced average rent increases considerably below inflation, with the cost of private renting from 2010 to 2014 having risen by an average of 6.9% against a rate of inflation over the period of 12.8%.

The agenda-setting report uses innovative online mapping tools to provide a wide range of information at both local authority and neighbourhood level including average monthly rents for two-bed properties, sale prices of flats, change in rent prices from 2010 to 2014. It also uses recently published Census data to show precisely where the 300,000 PRS households in Scotland actually live.

With demand from tenants in certain parts of Scotland, particularly in Aberdeen but also in Edinburgh, outstripping supply, Lettingweb have called for an end to the culture of negativity around the PRS, so that it can be seen as an equal partner in the housing mix and investment and development can be encouraged.

Dan Cookson, head of research at Lettingweb, said: “This is our most in-depth and informative analysis of Scotland’s private rented sector to date. It shows that Scotland’s PRS is thriving at the moment, but there are localised issues which are caused by a lack of supply.

“It also shows that in an efficient private market prices can go down where demand is low and over supply exists.

“We need to encourage investment in private rented housing, but in order to make the sector work for everyone politicians and tenant groups, in particular, must take a pragmatic and informed approach based on evidence. We hope our new report goes some way to provide that evidence base. The main losers from a PRS supply crisis are tenants.”