Edinburgh sees lowest rental demand in Scotland but remains the most expensive city for renters

Edinburgh has experienced an increase in demand for rentals – but it has seen the lowest rise across Scottish cities.

By Anna Bryan
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 1:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 2:10 pm

Since March 2020, there has been a 39% increase in demand for places to rent in Edinburgh, according to new research from flatshare site SpareRoom.

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However, the Capital is still the most expensive location in the country for rent. Edinburgh renters are set back an average of £611 per month for a room, which has increased by £35 a month since March 2020.

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Whilst Edinburgh is the most pricey Scottish city, renters in Glasgow experienced the biggest rent hikes over the last two years, with prices rising by 14%.

Matt Hutchinson, SpareRoom Director, said: “Cities are often the most expensive places to rent, so as the cost of living rises and rents quickly follow suit, it’s no surprise that people are looking for more affordable options.

“If demand continues to grow across the UK, and supply doesn’t start to catch up, we may well see record high rents this summer.”

Thomas Ashdown, Managing Director of Citylets, said: “City living is back. During the pandemic growth slowed in most cities and accelerated in surrounding areas. Now people are back to office working, at least at some level, and seem confident there won’t be any more full lockdowns.

Figures have shown that Edinburgh rent has risen by 6% since March 2020.

“The appeal of the city lights appears to have endured some extreme disruptions it would seem.”

However, he pointed out that letting agents remain concerned about the supply of available properties in the private rental sector, with many landlords continuing to sell up while the market is buoyant – or to avoid the threat of increased regulation and the costs that will bring.

Mr Ashdown added: “It’s reassuring to see that cities are coming back to life, however rent rises of this order are likely to prove problematic for many, given the ongoing cost of living crisis.

“More choice in the sector and indeed more widely in housing would, of course, help.”

Karen Turner, of property specialists Rettie & Co, said: “With the notice periods reverting back to pre-Covid, there are some landlords who are now looking to sell and exit the market, which will only add to the supply/demand challenges we are facing.”