up and down

31 Mar 23

Scottish rents in the private sector rose at a faster rate than the rest of Britain according to analysis by DJ Alexander Ltd, part of the Lomond group.

It says annual private rental prices in Scotland rose 4.9% in the 12 months to February 2023; were up 4.5% in England over the same period; and increased 4.2% in Wales.

The figure is the highest monthly number for Scotland since the data started being collected in January 2012 and is higher than the latest London average increase which is 4.6%.

In the six months since the rent freeze was introduced in September 2022 Scotland has experienced a higher increase than the other British nations while in the six months before the legislative change it had the lowest monthly average.

However, the report goes on to state that since 2015 Scotland has had the lowest rate of rent increase of any of the British nations and has only started to have higher annual increases over the last year. Since 2015 England has had a 17.9% increase in average rents; Wales a 12.1% rise; and Scotland 11.5%.

David Alexander, the chief executive officer of DJ Alexander Scotland, comments: “While the rent freeze legislation was sold as benefitting tenants it neglected to point out that new tenants could be charged higher rents. With demand at a record high in the private rented sector, and a reduction in the volume of properties available, the entirely foreseeable result was that rents would rise quickly in Scotland.

“What we have seen is the inevitable, and entirely predictable, increase in average rents as a result of the rent freeze policy. It is important that the Scottish Government is engaged with everyone involved with the private rented sector to develop policy which is in the best interests of tenants and landlords. It is only by ensuring there is a strong flow of properties on the market to meet demand that landlords will be able to provide these properties and tenants will be able to find the homes they need.

“These latest figures show that without appropriate action to increase the supply of homes in the private rented sector prices will continue to rise. Demand is already at a premium and there are no signs of this decreasing, so we need to encourage more homes into the marketplace, build strong relationships with landlords and property investors to ensure that tenants have greater availability of properties in the coming year. Doing nothing will simply not cut it.”

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