Edinburgh's Private Rental Market – Q4 2023: On the road to market norms?


Edinburgh’s private rental market recorded a year-on-year increase in rent levels but did experience a seasonal decrease in demand through Q4 2023.

The Scottish private rental sector (PRS) remained strong overall, while experiencing a seasonal softening in demand towards the end of the year. This may indicate the beginning of a return to pre-pandemic norms. However, the impact of the Scottish Government’s Cost of Living Crisis legislation rent cap and eviction ban is still being felt. While these measures will cease from April 2024, a new rent increase procedure will come into force.

You can find full details of the rent increase procedure which will be in place from April 2024 in our article, Scotland rent increase procedure from 1st April 2024.

Citylets’ quarterly reports provide important insight into the Edinburgh residential lettings market and the wider Scottish private rental sector. This allows us to benchmark our experiences and performance with letting agents across Edinburgh. Our director Rick McCann continues to share our experiences in these reports – you can find the latest report here: Quarterly Report Q4 2023 – Back to Black.

The private rental market in Scotland

Citylets note fairly brisk activity in Scotland’s PRS through Q4 2023, with many letting agents reporting a downturn in demand towards the end of the year. Average rents have continued to rise, now at an average of £1,097 per month across all property types; an increase of 12.9% year-on-year. However, the average Time to Let (TTL) has also lengthened across all property types, by an average of 4 days year-on-year.

Edinburgh’s private rental market in Q4 2023

Edinburgh’s fast-paced private rental market finally began to show a slow in tenant demand towards the end of the year – there has traditionally been a seasonal slow in Q4, and this slackening of demand may indicate a move towards pre-pandemic market norms.

This seasonal slowdown translated into a slower rate of market growth than in previous quarters, but the sector still returned a robust 9.7% year-on-year increase in average rents. The average TTL across all properties increased by six days year-on-year, to 18 days.

  • Average rents increased by 9.7% year on year
  • 81% of all properties were let within a month
Table from Citylets Q4 2023 report showing a market overview of the Edinburgh private rental market
Citylets Q4 2023 Report – Market overview of the private rental sector – Edinburgh

Our experiences: At Home In Edinburgh

We saw a marked decrease in tenant demand in Q4 2023 – while we expected this reduction as we moved towards the festive period, the drop-off in demand from mid-November was earlier and more dramatic than we anticipated. By the end of the quarter, our stock levels were high, TTL had increased, and rent levels were cooling. However, looking ahead to 2024, we expected the usual uplift in the New Year, and for stock levels to reduce again.

From a legislative perspective, we’re pleased that the government will be relaxing rent restrictions from April 2024, providing much needed relief to some of our landlords. The new tapering system is undoubtedly more complex than the previous process, but we will be advising our landlords on the appropriate rent increase amount and carrying out any calculations required.

Our expert team is here to help

We are award-winning experts in the Edinburgh private rental market, and our friendly, professional team are here to help with any queries or concerns. We know that many landlords are feeling the ongoing impact of the Cost of Living Crisis legislation, despite the buoyancy of Edinburgh’s private rental sector, and we are here to guide and support you.

Edinburgh’s private rental market is robust, withstanding current and recent challenges, and there remains a high demand for rental properties. If you have been considering an Edinburgh property investment to capitalise on this strong rental market, or if you’re considering a move from short-term to long-term letting, then we can help you define your investment strategy, source suitable properties, and provide accurate rental valuations—all with an added layer of stress-free assurance.

Get in touch with us if you’d like to chat through any queries, or if you’d like to use our free, no-obligation property-sourcing services or buy-to-let property assessments.

Swing by our Marchmont office at 39 Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1EU, drop us an email at [email protected] or simply give us a ring on 0131 229 4001.