Following on from our blog last month showing the trend in available properties during COVID-impacted 2020 vs 2019, we have another month of figures and more insight into the story that is unfolding on Edinburgh’s private rental market.

Available stock is dropping, but remains higher than 2019

The latest figures from Rightmove for the volume of available stock on the rental market in Edinburgh shows a drop of 26% in just one month (from 1,537 properties towards the end of August to 1,132 in September). The drop in available stock from August to September is to be expected in Edinburgh due to the start of the student year causing many available properties to become occupied during the month. In 2019, the drop over the same period was 39% from 1,025 down to 623 as seen below.
The reduction in available stock that we’ve seen over the last month tells us that the market is continuing to stabilise and recover from the shock felt from lockdown in the spring, but there is still a significantly higher number of available properties than last year (82% more properties available in 2020).

What does higher stock levels mean for the market?

To help answer this question, we’ve analysed the average number of prospective tenant enquiries Umega has received each week of the year for each property that we’ve had on the market. The results in the chart show us that in January and February this year, the average number of tenant enquiries for Umega’s available properties was between 6 and 8 a week. During lockdown, this dropped dramatically to as low as 3 per property, per week on average. In the weeks following the property market “re-opening” at the end of June, the average number of weekly enquiries per property jumped up to around 10 per week, peaking at 11 per week in August and in the last 3 weeks this has settled back down to between 6 and 8 (back to pre-COVID levels).

Despite more available stock, the market has not slowed down

Even though the volume of available stock is almost double the level of last year, our average number of enquiries per property remains at a similar level to 2019 (along with our time-to-let metrics and new tenancy rent levels).
We take from this that the demand from prospective tenants for quality rental properties remains just as high, if not higher, than it was in 2019. We’ll continue to monitor the data surrounding the available market to see what happens to stock levels and tenant enquiries as we head into the winter.