Edinburgh’s private rental sector has experienced unprecedented challenges over the last two quarters. Our experience has mirrored that of agents city-wide, with high numbers of properties on the market at the start of Q3, due to lockdown. As restrictions eased, we saw a huge release of pent-up demand from tenants, with properties letting quickly.
Up-to-date knowledge of the private rental sector (PRS) is vital in ensuring that we continue to provide an excellent, efficient service to our clients. Citylets’ quarterly reports offer an overview of Scotland’s private rental market performance. These provide a benchmark for our own experience each quarter.
The private rental sector in Scotland
As expected due to lockdown, the Q3 2020 Citylets report found that the quarter began with high levels of available rental properties across Scotland. As the nationwide lockdown ended, pent-up demand was released, seeing tenants quickly take up tenancies or restart their property searches.
Interestingly, Citylets did not find any evidence of increased movement of tenants seeking to move out of urban areas, as reported in some cities in England.
Edinburgh’s private rental sector in Q3
Citylets’ report found that Edinburgh’s private rental sector experienced the highest levels of excess properties during the quarter, contributing to a significantly longer average time to let (TTL). This also caused some downward pressure on rents.
- The average TTL is 46 days, 11 days longer than in the last quarter, and 19 days longer than Q3 2019.
- Average rents have decreased by 0.8% year on year.
- 45% of all properties were let within a month, down from 50% in the previous quarter.
2. Citylets Q3 2020 Report – Market overview of the private rental sector – Edinburgh
Our experiences: At Home In Edinburgh
New and improved ways of working
The second and third quarters of 2020 have undoubtedly been tough for everyone in Edinburgh’s private rental sector. However, necessity is the mother of invention and we have been driven to make beneficial adaptations to our processes.
These will continue as part of our ongoing ways of working – for example, virtual viewings will continue as the new norm, complementing the photography and floor plans for our advertised properties.
Long term lettings
Rick McCann, At Home In Edinburgh’s Director, noted that we entered Q3 with a record number of properties on the market. As experienced across the Edinburgh rental market, excess supply depressed rents by as much as 10% for some properties. However, as lockdown restrictions lifted, the floodgates of pent-up demand were opened, and most available properties rented within four weeks.
We experienced a second wave of tenants serving notice as the scaling back of the furlough scheme impacted the job market. Again, these properties rented quickly, and we saw rents return to pre-COVID levels.
Short term lettings
The short term market is currently experiencing unprecedented challenges. In addition to a sharp drop in occupancy rates due to travel restrictions, new legislation covering short term lets is due to come into force in April 2021.
Our considerable experience in helping short term let landlords make the move to long term rentals has proven invaluable over recent months. Edinburgh’s strong long term private rental sector is well-positioned to cope with the current COVID-19 challenges, and we have been pleased to assist numerous landlords to make the change.
Free assessments for Edinburgh holiday let landlords
As part of our commitment to support landlords through these unprecedented market conditions, we are offering free rental assessments to all landlords in Edinburgh.
Just email us at [email protected] or call us on 0131 229 4001 and our experienced team will arrange to meet you virtually with a video call and talk through your current situation. Your assessment will be specific to your needs, your property, and its location. We will consider the options that are available and help identify the best opportunities for you right now.
Our friendly, professional team is always happy to help with any queries – we’re proud that 100% of our landlords would recommend us to other landlords.