Edinburgh property price surge drives up rent

Leases across Edinburgh have increased by more than 20 per cent since the property crash in 2008. Picture: Jane Barlow
Leases across Edinburgh have increased by more than 20 per cent since the property crash in 2008. Picture: Jane Barlow
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SPIRALLING house prices have driven rents in the Capital to an all-time high, a property firm has claimed.

New figures reveal rental costs have leapt by 9.5 per cent since last year with the average monthly tariff now hitting £900 – the highest on record.

According to lettings site Citylets, leases across Edinburgh have risen by more than 20 per cent since the property crash in 2008.

Experts say a drop in supply is fuelling demand and driving up prices.

Thomas Ashdown, managing director of Citylets, says today’s tenants are staying in their property for twice as long as a few years ago.

“I think the dominant factor over the last 18 months has been the fact that tenants are staying longer than ever before,” he said.

“Tenancy is no longer assumed to be a stepping stone to ownership. Long-term and lifelong tenancy are becoming an increasingly popular option – for some people by choice, but for many by necessity.

“And that lack of movement is mopping up supply and preventing the natural stock replenishment the city needs.”

Part of the reason that tenants are unable to move on to the property ladder is rocketing house prices, experts say.

Warners Solicitors predict house prices will continue to rise by up to four per cent in 2015.

Scott Brown, a partner at the firm, said: “There is an undoubted new confidence in the property market, fuelled by greater job security, the recovering UK economy, continued cheaper loans and schemes such as Help to Buy.

“That has led to some people becoming big winners in the property market in 2014 with properties going to closing dates and competition pushing up prices, in some exceptional cases, to 20 per cent over valuation.”

Rising rents are taking their toll on tenants, Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland said.

“We want to see a sector that thrives and is fair for both tenants and landlords, where rents are stable, rent rises are predictable and where families can put down roots in their community,” he said.

nash.riggins@edinburghnews.com