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NEW FIGURES REVEAL PRIVATE RENTED HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

NEW FIGURES REVEAL PRIVATE RENTED HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

  • Exclusive Lettingstats research indicate some comfort for aspiring tenants across Scotland
  • Largest-ever survey of tenants reveals affordability comparison across Scotland’s regions
  • Rentals levels falling in Aberdeen

Lettingstats, the research arm of the national portal for Scotland’s private rented sector has reported affordability levels for households across Scotland seeking homes in privately rented housing. The research, revealed in their quarterly report issued today (Monday 13th April) reveals that across Scotland 66.3% of tenants who informed us about their rent to income ratio spent less than 40% of their household income on rent. Lettingstats research has recently highlighted a widespread shortage of supply in the private rented sector (PRS) with continued growth in demand not being matched by the requisite supply.

Lettingweb is Scotland’s national portal for private rented property, with Lettingstats reports based on unparalleled evidence from properties advertised to let on the portal by the vast majority of Scottish letting agents, allowing for uniquely detailed breakdown by locality and size and type of property.

For the winter quarter (Dec, Jan, Feb), rent levels have edged upwards over Scotland as a whole – with 2-bed properties marketed in that period costing £654, up 6.8% on the same time a year ago. Although rent levels have increased by less than the rate of inflation over the medium term, as confirmed by Scottish Government’s own rental statistics from last year.

The headline figures for year on year changes to advertised rents for 2-bed properties are as follows:

  • Glasgow £665 per month, up 6.5%
  • Edinburgh £784 per month, up 5.3%
  • Dundee £565 per month, up 3.6%
  • Aberdeen £972, down 1.2%

It is widely reported that the private rented sector has doubled in size over the last 10 years, what is less well known is that the PRS has done most of the ‘heavy lifting’ in terms of meeting net housing demand in that time. Given this enormous increase in demand it is encouraging that increased supply has kept private rents in Scotland relatively affordable.

The table below shows the percentage of private renting households (excluding students) where monthly rent accounts for less than 40% of household income.

Glasgow 76.8%
Aberdeen 72.5%
Dundee 83.3%
Edinburgh 72.3%
Scotland 75.0%

Dan Cookson, Head of Research at Lettingweb, and author of the Lettingstats report, said:

Lack of supply remains the most pressing issue in the market for Scottish private rented housing. Over the past ten years, hundreds of thousands of small scale landlords have stepped up to the plate to provide for a huge expansion in the market. It is clear that if the private rented market is to continue to meet the growing demand for flexible living that institutional investment will be required.”

“These new figures show that whilst the last year has shown some rental level growth across most of Scotland, available property remains affordable for the vast majority of tenants and prospective tenants. That affordability is crucial to the further growth of the market, as it seeks to meet continually increasing demand.”

“Policymakers need to ensure that steps are taken to encourage further supply into the market, in order that increasing affordability can be maintained. In particular, further new regulation of the sector should be examined to determine whether it makes increasing supply more, or less likely.”

The full Lettingstats Report is available here, and is part of a quarterly sequence of reports which provides unparalleled analysis of the Scottish market, using data from the market leading portal, Lettingweb. Media access to charts and detailed local analysis is welcomed, and enquiries to embed these online resources to dan@lettingweb.com.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. Lettingstats is the research arm of Lettingweb, the leading national portal for private rented accommodation. Further information available from Lettingweb’s Head of Research, Dan Cookson can be found on twitter (@lettingstats) or dan@lettingweb.com
  2. The latest Lettingstats report is available here.