After a long 4 months, COVID restrictions are beginning to ease in Scotland with the whole country moving into tier 3 at the end of April and with further changes just over a week away.

After 5 months of fairly static available stock levels, the easing of restrictions is likely to create some change in the property market and we’ve got some early indications of changes underway

Available stock levels are starting to reduce, slowly

Last month we reported the volume of rental properties available in Edinburgh was fairly static, having increased slightly over the month. This settled pattern continued into April but there were signs of a change of momentum as available stock on the market dropped marginally with 4% less properties on the market than in March. There’s been an improved level of property turnover and more properties letting than are being added to the market which has resulted in the curve beginning to point downwards after a long winter.

April’s available stock was 21% lower than in April 2020 when properties on the market rapidly swelled quickly following the start of lockdown 1 and the temporary closing of the property market. Less of a correction is required this time round however with 27% more properties on the market than in 2019 we still have some way to go before we return to a more normal balanced rental market.

13% more lets agreed in Edinburgh than last month

Looking at properties let over the month to the end of April, there were 13% more lets achieved across Edinburgh, than in March; indicating more tenant activity, contributing towards the decreasing available stock numbers across the city. We expect May to be even better for lets agreed which will help further reduce the available stock levels.

What’s next?

While we’re not going to see the dramatic drop in available stock we saw in 2020 when lockdown 1 came to an end, we will see things continue to improve through the summer. With a high percentage of students expected to return to Edinburgh in time for the 2021-2022 academic year, we anticipate empty student properties across Edinburgh to be tenanted by September, removing the current slack from the market and the effects of this rippling across the city’s currently empty rental stock towards more ‘normal’ levels.