Average Scottish rents recorded in April increased by 1.6% in a year, according to Your Move’s latest Scottish Rental Index.
This is the fastest year-on-year increase in rents since November 2014 when the annual change stood at 2.2%, the data shows.
Coming back from a winter dip, the pace of rent growth has increased solidly from 1.1% in February and a 1.3% annual rise in March.
As of last month, the average residential rent across Scotland stands at a record £539 per month, matching the peak set just five months before in November 2014.
While rent growth is quickening on an annual basis, in the month to April, average Scottish rents rose just 0.1%.
The greatest year-on-year increase was recorded in the Glasgow & Clyde region, where average rents have shot up by £27 (5%) since April 2014.
The East saw the second biggest annual rise in rental prices at 1.7% and in the South of Scotland rents climbed a more modest 0.7% in the past twelve months.
Edinburgh & the Lothian’s has witnessed the biggest fall in rent prices year-on-year, down 0.8% in the twelve months to April 2015. In the Highlands & Islands, rents are now 0.6% lower than in April 2014.
“Scottish rents have peaked at a new apex, as lethargic supply of rental homes fails to match up to towering demand for homes to let. After rental prices plateaued over the winter months, we’re seeing annual rent rises start to ascend again,” says Brian Moran, area lettings director at Your Move.
“Such a pattern of rent rises in Scotland appears to reflect in part the relative shortage of properties to rent. Against that background the folly of the Scottish Government’s proposed tenancy reform proposals is further demonstrated,” says Brian Callaghan, the managing director of West Lothian letting agency Letting Solutions.
“The expected loss of the ‘no fault’ ground and the expected new localised rent controls in Scotland are bound to reduce the supply of rental properties on the market, with consequent further upward pressures on rents. We need to guard against the usual voices deploying such rental increases to justify rent controls, the opposite of what is needed,“ he adds.
Matthew Wilcken, business development manager at Edinburgh letting agency The Flat Company, says that his firm is experiencing unprecedented demand from tenants for high quality rental property.
“Our portfolio of Edinburgh student flats for the next academic year was fully let before Easter for the first time ever,” he says.