Guide to Scottish private rental market

The slow return of the UK economy to normal levels has brought with it a steady increase in property buying, with people choosing to purchase their own property again as well as investing in buy to let.

Scotland is a great area for such investment, with several towns and cities that offer strong opportunities for anyone willing to venture north of the border. The only uncertainty at the moment is the looming referendum on Scottish independence, which, if successful, is likely to impact the economy on some level. Whether that means a positive or negative outcome for Scottish landlords remains to be seen, however.

Here’s quick rundown of the state of Scotland’s rental market in its four biggest cities:

Glasgow

Scotland’s biggest city is home to a lot of property, which for a long time has made the area great for tenants but a less attractive proposition for landlords. Rents on two-bedroom properties did increase 3% over the past year though, and rents are rising across the city for all sizes of property.

The large amount of property means that demand is fairly low, and has not been increasing at nearly the same rate as in other cities. As such, finding a tenant for your property quickly may become an issue for anyone investing in Glasgow.

That picture is different in the city centre and west end though, where two-bedroom properties are costing between £700-850, well over the national average. Property tends to let a lot quicker there as well – so it’s worth consulting a letting agent to find a good area to invest.

Aberdeen

By some distance the most expensive city in Scotland for both renting and buying, if you can find property in Aberdeen you will most likely see high rents and massive amounts of demand. Almost 90% of one-bedroom property in Aberdeen is let within a month of hitting the market, and 45% is let within a week.

Those one-bedroom properties also cost £626 p/m, costlier than a two-bedroom flat elsewhere in the country, and 5.6% more expensive than last year. The most expensive area is the AB15 postcode, which takes in the affluent districts of Bieldside, Cults and the surrounding areas.

Dundee

Like Glasgow, Dundee rents are rising but not at nearly the same rate as Aberdeen or Edinburgh. Two-bedroom property in Dundee costs on average £547 p/m, which is 3.4% more than last year. That is the highest rent increase for any size of property in Dundee.

Demand is slacker as well, with a little under 60% of one-bedroom property letting in less than a month. That demand isn’t massively increasing either, although there are signs that may change in the upcoming months – so Dundee might well be a city to keep an eye on.

Edinburgh

Last but certainly not least, Scotland’s capital has long been an attractive place for investing in buy to let property. And that trend is continuing, with demand and rent levels showing steady growth over the past 12 months; two bedroom property in Edinburgh costs on average £748 p/m, well over the Scottish average.

Similarly, over 70% of 2 bedroom property will find a tenant within a month, and the average time it takes to find tenants is a little over three weeks. That is substantially lower than the average for the rest of the country.

Investing in Edinburgh is a matter of finding the right area, as rent can vary wildly between different postcodes – by as much as £300 for two-bedroom properties, for example. The city centre and New Town are typically the most expensive areas, but outside of the centre places like Morningside in the south and Corstophine in the west are also fairly affluent.

Of course, whether you are thinking of investing in Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen or Edinburgh it is always best to seek the advice of a professional before doing anything. All the data here is based on Lettingweb.com’s rental statistics.

This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Buy to let mortgage rates are subject to change. Speak to our advisors for a mortgage illustration.

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