Agent Views

Scottish letting agents give us their views on their local market.

Sarah Harley

Margaret Duffus Leasing, Aberdeen – Sarah Harley

“Like most of the planet we’re currently in lockdown in Aberdeen and it’s been a very busy time adapting to the current restrictions. Virtual and Skype viewings are great tools and have been an excellent help with anyone struggling to find something for an essential move. I think they will be here to stay! As time goes on we are seeing enquiries increasing, which is encouraging, as people look ahead and start planning for future moves. Landlords have also to be applauded for the speed and compassion with which they’ve reacted to their tenants’ individual situations and it has been truly touching seeing everyone pull together.”

Ross Macleod

Macleod Lettings, Glasgow – Ross Macleod

“2020 got off to a fantastic start for us and it was looking like it could be a record breaking quarter, however, there were news reports about a virus spreading throughout the world. We have managed to adapt our business practices, and have been able to provide accommodation to key workers throughout the initial lockdown, however, I suspect that the full impact of the situation has yet to be quantified and the effects of the lockdown I’m sure will be felt for many years to come.”

Wendy Gallagher

One Stop Properties, Glasgow – Wendy Gallagher

“One Stop Properties found Q1 with stock levels sitting at an all-time high. We found a number of new investor landlords coming back to the rental market and this has increased the number of properties available. Properties continue to be of high quality and therefore in high demand achieving good rental yields. We believe that when the lockdown is over, we will see a very large increase of tenants looking to rent properties. Landlords who were renting properties through Airbnb will come to the rental market for extra security. This may have an impact on the rental price as the market could become saturated. We look forward to a very busy time ahead.”

Eduardo Prato

Martin & Co., Aberdeen – Eduardo Prato

“We experienced a good increase of average rent in January and February 2020. However, in March there was a clear change in trend as soon as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hit the industry. Now landlords and letting agents need to prepare for how the residential letting business will look during and after Covid-19. The country economy will be fragile, and the Aberdeen economy will be in intensive care for a while. However, with the right treatment, attention to detail and correct expectation level, professional landlords and letting agents will go through these challenging times.”

Nicky Lloyd

ESPC Lettings, Edinburgh – Nicky Lloyd

“We entered Q1 2020 with Brexit still looming, but the property market continued on trend with rent levels remaining mostly consistent with some increases, and demand levels as expected for the time of year. Investors were keen to make moves into the market and the number of new and quality properties was fast increasing. However, Covid-19 turned this on its head and the industry came to a standstill on 23 March whilst we came to terms with new working patterns and changes in the market. In more recent weeks the number of enquiries from potential renters has risen. The indication is once we start receiving government instructions as to how and when restrictions can be eased we will see a surge in movement in the market.”

Graeme McEwan

Be-Rented, Glasgow – Graeme McEwan

“Unprecedented times call for unprecedented methods of business. The letting business has seen dramatic drops as Covid-19 restrictions were announced. We quickly video toured all our empty properties and offered this as an alternative method of viewing; within the first few weeks it was successful. Are people nervous about reserving a property they have not seen? Yes, but it allows them to reserve with the viewing point they can hand 28 days’ notice when they move in, so the tie isn’t too strong.”

Colin Roe

Let-it, Glasgow – Colin Roe

“The first quarter of 2020 was showing positive signs, with new investors coming to the PRS despite a number of still looking to sell. Demand is still extremely high across all property sizes and styles, which in turn is driving rents upwards. It’s worth stating that this was written in the midst of the lockdown and we are still seeing a considerable number of enquires coming in to us via email so there is no reason to believe the current situation will have any short term effect on tenants seeking housing.”

Jamie Kerr

Ben Property, Edinburgh – Jamie Kerr

“Q1 started brightly with extremely good activity across the board. The obvious knock on effects since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown have severely affected the market as we know/knew it, but we have adapted with the likes of virtual/video viewings, 360 tours, more floorplans being available, being proactive and assisting prospective tenants where moves have been essential. Most if not all landlords have been understanding and tenants equally so. Supply to the market has seen a surge due to the collapse of the holiday let market which has increased mainly the supply of one and two bedroom properties online; this in turn will effect rental levels going forward. However, we are expecting a busy end to Q2 when and if lockdown restrictions are lifted slightly, and extremely busy Q3.”

Brian Gilmour

Indigo Square, Glasgow – Brian Gilmour

“Q1 2020 now seems another lifetime ago. The biggest challenges in January and February were the volume of rain and keeping on top of repairs. Demand in Glasgow remained strong from tenants and we were looking forward to a busy spring. Then as March progressed, the potential issues of the Covid-19 crisis loomed. There was quite a rush at the end getting people moved in and as students started to leave in certain locations, we had a week of quickly creating video tours and making rent reductions to get properties away in the final moments before the inevitable lockdown.”

Colin MacMillan

Glasgow Property Letting, Glasgow – Colin MacMillan

“The PRS has taken a comprehensive hit since lockdown kicked in, but we have adapted to new ways of carrying out business in these very difficult times. Where we previously relied on personal interaction with landlords and tenants alike, we are now living in a virtual world with video viewings, and video calls and meetings will no doubt become the norm going forward! Most landlords appreciate the position that their tenants are in and are very sympathetic but also ultimately realise that without them they have no revenue stream or business.”

Douglas Harvey

Harvey Lets, Glasgow – Douglas Harvey

“We have a higher number of tenancies coming to an end than is normal and all other agents will be in the same position. Therefore, when restrictions are lifted it is certain the number of properties on the market will rise steeply. With an oversupply of properties available, there may be a short-term impact on rent levels. In conjunction with an oversupply of properties we also must consider the level of tenant enquiries. At present there is a lower level of new tenant enquiries and this will increase significantly after restrictions are lifted. We anticipate there may be a ‘staggered’ period before the market can be deemed normal again.”

Miles Gilham

Glenham Property, Edinburgh – Miles Gilham

“The market has been frozen for the last few weeks and we believe there is huge pent up demand both on the sales side and lettings. We believe that restarting the housing market will help kickstart the wider economy which is critical post lockdown. The long term effects to the UK housing market will take time to develop but we are of the opinion that the Scottish and specifically the Edinburgh lettings market is well insulated and better placed than other regions to weather any short term turmoil and bounce back quickly.”

Like most sites, Citylets uses cookies mainly to enhance user experience. By using our site we'll assume you're ok with our cookies policy.