‘Mature’ city rent market on the up

Edinburgh has the largest private rental market of any city in Scotland. 'Picture: PHIL WILKINSON
Edinburgh has the largest private rental market of any city in Scotland. 'Picture: PHIL WILKINSON
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PRIVATE tenants are forking out up to 11 per cent more in rent in the Capital than they were this time last year, new figures have revealed.

The cost of a one-bedroom flat increased from £608 per month last January to as much as £677 per month in the latter part of the year, while average rental for two-bed properties rose from £819 to £882 a month.

The figures, from the latest Rental Tracker by letting agency DJ Alexander, represent increases of 11.3 per cent and 7.7 per cent.

The EH3 postcode area - covering part of the New Town and West End - saw the biggest annual jump, while the city’s most expensive postcode area was EH2, also covering part of the New Town, with an average rent of £1032.

DJ Alexander managing director David Alexander said: “The first three months of the year are slower in demand terms in comparison with the final quarter, so I am not surprised that the latter period is showing higher monetary figures for new rentals.”

Letting site Citylets suggested a similar trend with rents up across the board between the first and last quarters of 2013. But it recorded a slower annual rise, with one-bed prices up by 2.3 per cent in 2013, compared with 3.8 per cent for two-bedroom flats.

Citylets found that demand for properties to rent remained very consistent over the year. Owners in the top five sought-after postcodes – EH1, EH3, EH7, EH10 and EH11 – saw waiting times of less than four weeks for tenants.

Edinburgh has the largest private rental market of any city in Scotland, sitting at 107,256 people in the last Census findings.

Dan Cookson, senior analyst at Citylets, said: “The main characteristic of the Edinburgh private-rented market has been stability, with prices experiencing minimal growth throughout the year. When you consider there has been a resurgence of the house-buying market, this shows the sign of a mature, solid sector that is serving both tenants and landlords well.

“This all points to clear evidence that validates the role the private-rented sector now plays in the fabric of Edinburgh society.

“Living in rental accommodation in Edinburgh is a desired lifestyle choice that is here to stay.”

One key example of the continued surge of interest in rental property across the Capital is the new Grosvenor development at the Foundry in Fountainbridge. The DJ Alexander-marketed site is made up of 46 flats – all of which will be available for rent only.

Grosvenor project director Robin Blacklock said: “We were confident that we had an attractive product that would appeal to the market, but we were initially cautious about the rental levels we might achieve and about the time it would take to let them.

“In actual fact, the development has outperformed our expectations on both counts.”