The latest Citylets Scotish rental market report (Q3 2019) is out with some interesting insights into rent levels and Time To Let (TTL) for the Edinburgh rental market.

Rents still growing but at a slower rate
Average rents in Edinburgh continue to climb; now at an all-time high of £1,148pcm. However Year-On-Year (YOY) growth has slowed to 3.6% across all property sizes, down from the 5%+ rates we saw a year ago. The average 1 bedroom rent in Edinburgh is up 3.7% YOY while 4 bedroom properties grew by a much more modest 0.3% YOY to £2,009pcm.

Larger properties taking longer to let – Across Scotland as a whole, properties are reported to be taking 33 days to let and for Edinburgh this is slightly lower at 27 days TTL, although this is 6 days longer than it took a year ago. While 1 bedroom properties continue to fly off the shelf in an average of 20 days (with 27% letting within a week) it’s the 3 and 4 bedroom properties that are dragging the average TTL upwards. Edinburgh 3 bedrooms took 39 days to let while 4 bedroom properties took 41 days, a lot higher than the 29 days it took for both sizes during the same period in 2018. This TTL for 4 bedroom properties might partly explain why rental growth is slowing up with landlords and agents responding to the properties sticking on the rental market by dropping asking rents a little to secure tenants.


What’s causing this?
To try to understand why 3 and 4 bedroom properties are taking longer to let it’s worth considering the effect of the PRT (Private Rented Tenancy) on property availability dates. In previous years, many 3 and 4 bedroom properties would have let during the winter months with a summer move-in date. Properties would be secured months in advance due to the predictable end of tenancy dates under short-assured tenancies.  Under the new PRT, student properties are coming onto the market at shorter notice during the summer months. These properties may sit longer on the market due to the shorter lead times. This would help explain the pattern we saw at Umega with a lull in ‘Move ins’ (new tenancy start dates) over the summer months (specifically July and August) before the normal spike in September.

Life at Umega
We’ve kept a close eye on our portfolio over the summer. The average rent of properties we’ve let during Q3 2019 is £1,350, around £200 higher than the city-wide average reported by Citylets. Our averages for 1 and 2 bedroom properties are pulled up slightly by the number of premium properties we manage, including Quartermile. It’s really pleasing to see a clean sweep in terms of our TTLs with us beating the city-wide averages across the board; a sign that our lettings team are smashing it!

  Citylets Average rent (pcm) Umega Average Rent (pcm) Citylets TTL (days) Umega TTL (days)
1 bed £810 £943 20 18
2 bed £1,054 £1,128 27 22
3 bed £1,480 £1,421 39 28
4 bed £2,009 £1,909 41 27
Average £1,148 £1,350 27 24

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