It seems that every year we get ourselves in gear earlier and earlier to respond to demand for student properties. No sooner has September passed and the students are settling into their flats and recovering from their fresher’s week hangovers that a steady stream of students starts to pop into our office to ask what we have available for the following academic year (and to help themselves to a free coffee or a stash of bananas). Infact, by the end of last October we already had a ‘waiting list’ of 13 student groups asking to be kept up to date with properties we had available in September 2014. Give us a chance!
This just goes to show the huge competition there is for good quality student properties in Edinburgh and specifically the EH9/EH10 postcodes. Maybe we get hammered more than most agents, with umpteen students walking past our office every hour as they stagger from the security of Marchmont, over the treacherous Meadows (if by treacherous you mean being taken out by a low flying frisbee, football, shinty ball or falling tightrope artist…yes…there always seems to be at least one!) towards George Square.
Top Honours for Edinburgh’s Student Sector
According to Citylets, and in line with the crazy levels of student footfall in our office since January, traditionally there is a sharp uplift in activity in the Scottish Rental Market at the start of the year. Volumes take a sudden jump as seasonal student landlords (and letting agents) place properties on the market to respond to the keen-bean students looking to seal the best properties for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Rents go up and up and up…..
The average rent for a property in Edinburgh rose by a healthy 3.8% over the year to Quarter 1 2014. Impressively, the average rent in EH9 (Marchmont and Newington) was £1,190, up a whopping 8.5% since this time last year. According to the Citylets report, EH9 was also the most dynamic area of the city with properties being let out in an average of only 22 days.
Most impressively is Citylet’s claim that the average rent for larger student properties (4+ bedrooms) in typical student areas including Marchmont and Bruntsfield, leapt by 20.1% between March 2012 and 2014 against an Edinburgh average rental growth of 9.6%.
The Citylets report goes on to illustrate that 34% of all properties on the market in EH9 since the start of 2014 were larger student properties (4+ bedrooms) which once again illustrates the significance of these student eager beavers in the outstanding performance of this rental sector since the turn of the year.
If I had the money….
……I would love to get my hands on a larger student property within the EH9 district. At Umega Lettings we know from first hand experience (you should hear the noise the students make in our office and our tea and coffee bill has goes through the roof every year around this time when students make themselves at home in our reception area) that this market is booming and will continue to do so. I had two lovely new landlords in the office on Friday morning who were about to embark on their first student property investment purchase and I couldn’t believe the quality of properties we were able to find as we started searching for properties on their behalf. So, if you’ve got a spare £300k lying around (!) or have a generous bank manager happy to lend you some money, consider investing in Edinburgh’s student property market and if you don’t know where to start, get in touch below or tweet me @UmegaAndy and I’d be happy to help!