The Scottish rental market has sprung to life as restrictions ease – and the north-east is once again in high demand for property-hunters, with enquiries for family homes reaching record numbers.
Second-quarter figures released by Citylets show that Scottish rents have hit an all-time high of £883 per month, with the commuter belt and city markets looking especially buoyant.
Adding to the demand across Scotland is the return of the student sector, but properties of all sizes are in demand, from modest one-bedroom flats to family-sized four-bedroom homes.
Aberdeen saw rents climb by 1.6% year on year by growth in the larger three and four-bedroom properties and, as Adrian Sangster, leasing director at Aberdein Considine, points out, many agents haven’t witnessed rental demand on this scale “since the height of the oil boom”.
The west end, Cults and Bieldside remain popular postcode choices but, in fact, most properties are moving rapidly, with four-bedroom properties fetching a monthly rent of £1,399 – up 12.4% in one year – and one-bedroom flats earning landlords around £437 per month. Over the past five years, four-bedroom properties have only dropped 6.4% in price, while one-beds have dropped 20%. However, these figures look set to improve.
Chris Minchin, letting agent at Winchesters, Aberdeen, said: “The number of tenants
waiting for two-bed houses plus in outlying areas has increased dramatically with most houses attracting record numbers of viewings. Subsequently, the market does lack
supply in these areas.”
Encouragingly, around 12% of two-bedroom homes will be let within a week, but a whopping 24% of four-bedroom homes will be snapped up in that time.
In fact, two-bedroom flats in Aberdeen make up half the market composition, but despite this – and the high demand for larger family homes in and out of the city – it is three-bedroom homes that are seeing the fastest rent increase – showing that Aberdeen is attracting not just permanent residents but families who wish to relocate and “try before they buy”.
Adrian Sangster said: “During the past year the private rental sector has proved to be extremely resilient during the pandemic.
“This was also true of the sector following the 2008 financial crash where the flexibility of the renting became very appealing to those people who were uncertain of the security of their long-term employment prospects, or had only been able to secure a short-term contract. This is very much the case now.”
Mr Sangster added that there has been a “significant increase” in demand for larger rural family-sized rental homes, with a shortage of stock.
He says: “In some cases we have experienced up to 50 requests for viewings within 24 hours of placing a property on the market. I have not seen this level of interest in the north-east for these larger properties since the height of the oil boom.
“Figures released recently by Admiral show there are £1.3 billion worth of homes lying vacant throughout Scotland. Most of these are privately owned and, at a time where there is a national shortage of accommodation, efforts must be made to make these properties, some of which have been vacant for years, available for occupation.”
Eduardo Prato, letting agent with Martin & Co, Aberdeen, agreed, saying demand resembled “the boom of 2013-2014”. He added: “The message to landlords of high-end properties is: ‘this is the time to let your property in Aberdeen. Don’t miss this window opportunity’.”
Read the full report at www.citylets.co.uk