The Edinburgh Rental Market In 2023

2023 in Edinburgh’s rental market has started much like 2022. For 5 months, the volume of available rental properties in Edinburgh has remained very low at around 500 properties at any given time on the portal, Rightmove. This is a very similar level to last winter and indicates that 2023 is going to be another year of very low levels of available rental properties on the market.


Four reasons why there are so few rental properties


  1. There are more people looking for rental properties – Interest rates have risen and made mortgage borrowing more expensive than any time in the last decade. Many potential first time buyers just can’t afford a home that they want to live in and this is leading to a rise in tenant demand for quality rental properties.
  2. Existing tenants are renting for longer – The word is out on how tough conditions are on the open market to secure a new rental property. The extreme market conditions in the summer of 2022, which included us receiving more than 1,000 potential tenant enquiries in 2 days for a 2 bedroom flat, came as somewhat of a shock. Summer 2022 was a more stressful time for prospective tenants than we’ve seen in our 16 years in business. Tenants could not understand that there was just nowhere for them to live regardless of how much money they had or how strong their references were. So this year, we know what to expect in the summer and it isn’t going to be good for house-hunting tenants. Any tenant who was in the market last year knows this too and tenants will do everything they can this year to avoid going back into the open market in search of a new property; meaning many will stay put in their current flat, for longer.
  3. Less new landlords are joining the market – The Scottish Government has been pursuing a policy agenda that discourages buy-to-let investors but without a plan B for where future tenants will live in a shrinking private rented sector. Recent knee-jerk tenant-focused interventions such as the rent freeze and the eviction ban have discouraged future potential landlords from renting out their properties.
  4. Many previous landlords are selling up – Rising costs for landlords and new legislation that adds additional costs for landlords have led many to sell up. The Scottish Government now finds itself in a position they didn’t expect where they need more properties, and more landlords, to join the sector. For this to be achieved, it’s going to require some toning down of new policies that don’t benefit landlords and it remains to be seen how the Government will navigate this new challenge that they’re only just waking up to.


2023 is shaping up to be another challenging year for Edinburgh tenants as there will be thousands more people looking for a new rental property than will be available. Like all Edinburgh letting agents, we’ll meet this challenge and help as many tenants as we can but it’s going to be another year of explaining to property hunting tenants that we simply can’t rent properties that we haven’t got.


Get in touch with us today on 0131 221 8280 or email [email protected] to get started.