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Why Scotland remains an ideal buy-to-let hotspot for investors

Tue 26 Feb 2019

There’s no denying that the Scottish lettings industry has had to cope with a raft of changes in recent years. For example, there’s been the introduction of the Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) in 2017 as well as ongoing changes to energy efficiency legislation.

That said, landlords in Scotland are in for some good news, as recent research has shown that rental prices across the country increased further in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The findings from Citylets found the Scottish national average rose to £771 per calendar month – up 5% year-on-year. All areas in Scotland saw significant rises in rental prices and it takes just over a month (32 days) to let the average rental property.

Scottish market overview

The Scottish market continues to offer attractive investment opportunities and good rental yields for landlords. This is all due to growing demand for rental accommodation – especially larger properties. With the exception of Aberdeen, all major urban markets maintained their upward curve.

There is also a growing trend of family renters in the private rental market, with research suggesting they tend to make better long-term tenants. In fact, the number of families living in Scottish rented accommodation has hit the 90,000 mark, representing around a quarter of the sector.

Scotland is no stranger to annual rental growth, either, with rents jumping a significant 7.8% to £1,095 per calendar month. Average rents for three and four-bedroom properties rose 7% and 10.9% respectively. There was also a notable reduction in Time to Let (TTL) across Scotland, which was down 12 days to 32 on average.

West Lothian prices on the up

Regionally speaking, property in West Lothian – where Letting Solutions operates – recorded positive annual growth – up 5.1% year-on-year to average £699 per month. The TTL also dropped to 26 days – 13 days faster than Q4 2017.

For landlords looking to invest in new properties here, the average price for property currently stands at around £180,000 – this is a rise of 2.5% from a year ago.

In terms of property types, flats in West Lothian currently sell for roughly £120,000 and terraced houses for around £130,000, according to the Zoopla estimates.

With convenient access to both Edinburgh and Glasgow, historic attractions and affordable house prices, it’s no wonder the area continues to grow in popularity.

Why rising rents are good for landlords

2018 was a year of transition for the PRS in Scotland, and agents, landlords and tenants are continuing to adapt to changes brought about by the new PRT, among other considerations.

That said, good rental yields are still achievable because rents continue to rise and the cost of purchasing a rental home in Scotland is often lower than in other parts of the UK.

For landlords and investors, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of the local market and current trends. If you’re looking to invest in West Lothian and the wider area, it’s worth keeping an eye on this upward trajectory of rental prices as well as property prices to help you unearth the next gem.

Here at Letting Solutions, we are experts in our field and can provide advice to landlords on how to make the most from their rental properties. Please give us a call on: 01506 496006.

Additionally, you can request a free and instant online valuation to give you an idea of how much you could be charging in rent each month.

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