Referendum creates Scottish rent surge

Average Scottish rents increased by 1.3% in the three months to August as people delayed purchase decisions due to the prospect of a Yes vote.

They have now increased by 2.7% over the past 12 months, amounting to £14 more than a year ago.

Landlords have profited from the increase, making a return of £14,900 (9.9%) before mortgage payments and maintenance costs.

Tenants on the other hand have suffered as 6.5% faced rent in arrears in August 2014 compared to 5.8% in August 2013.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “While the independence debate has been raging, many households have been battening down the hatches and waiting to see which way the wind blows before buying property.

“This has boosted demand in the private rental sector, which has acted as a safe harbour and stop-gap on the journey to homeownership.”

Regionally Glasgow and Clyde saw the fastest annual increase in rents, with average monthly rents rising by 5.5% (£30); they increased by 3.8% (£22) in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

On a month-on-month basis rents increased by 4.2% in Glasgow and Clyde, while they also rose by 0.2% in Edinburgh and the Lothians. They dropped by 2.2% in the South of Scotland.