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Urban living back in fashion as agents report demand soaring

The appeal of city living has been reignited across Scotland with new figures showing a surge in demand and rents for urban homes.

A market snapshot from agency Citylets reveals that rents in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen have all increased significantly and demand continuing to outstrip supply.

Nationally the average monthly rent in Scotland has increased 8.5 per cent to £896, with the average time to let standing at just 20 days. 


More than a third of all properties were let within a week, and 77 per cent within a month.

In Edinburgh average property rents rose more than 14 per cent YOY, reaching an all time high of £1,214 pcm, while Glasgow recorded a 16 per cent annual increase in average monthly rents, to £972 pcm.

Thomas Ashdown, managing director of Citylets, says: “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. The appeal of the city lights appears to have endured some extreme disruptions it would seem.”

But he warns that letting agents remain concerned about the supply of available properties, 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.

Ashdown continues: “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. This is not a discretionary purchase – you have got to have somewhere to call home. More choice in the sector and indeed more widely in housing would, of course, help.

“Despite relentless economic worry and the conflict in Ukraine that will further impact on the cost of living, the market is very busy. People want to get on with life and make decisions now which may have been postponed in recent months.

“While there is slightly more supply of properties than there was at the end of last year, it’s not a widespread phenomenon and this is not something that can always be addressed quickly. The consequence is, with no sign of demand reducing, rents may continue to rise throughout 2022.“



Karen Turner of Scottish property specialists Rettie & Co, comments: “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.

“We should be encouraging more landlords to enter the sector to meet this demand, not discouraging them.”

And Charlie Inness, of Edinburgh letting agency Glenham Property, adds: “We do not expect the shortage of supply to change as investors are either exiting the market or are cautious of entering due to the uncertainty created by the Scottish Government’s proposals for increasing regulation and artificial control of the sector.”


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