Agent Views

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

Eduardo Prato

Martin & Co., Aberdeen – Eduardo Prato

“A very strong market. Despite bracing ourselves for a slow-down in the letting industry, increase in arrears and rent reductions, the opposite has just happened. June 2020 has been the strongest month in the last 6 years in terms of new lets. Rents have remained stable. What has changed is the way we market properties, carry out viewings and close tenancies in order to overcome the limitations of the lockdown and social distancing that we all are observing and have to learn to live with. Very proud of having a professional team that is working so hard to look after the demand of an unexpected market.”

Catriona Smith

Arden Property Mg, Edinburgh – Catriona Smith

“The Covid Quarter has been a really challenging time in almost every aspect of the business. Availability of properties has peaked at a 10 year high for us, with demand lagging behind, but student activity did increase towards the end of the quarter which came as a relief for HMO landlords who were badly affected by the student exodus in April. The use of virtual viewings and pre-vetting tenants to avoid speculative viewings is working very well and will most likely be a permanent change to our processes. Enquiries are becoming much busier and agreed lets have not seen significant drops in rents achieved which provides some optimism for the next quarter.”

Ashley Puren

Pure Property Mgt, Edinburgh – Ashley Puren

“The Edinburgh property market has been turned upside down with many tenants giving their 28 days’ notice and fleeing the capital. Student properties and HMO’s have been hardest hit and landlords have been left reeling. With the temporary shutdown of serviced accommodation in the city, many of these properties have also come back into the long-term let market. The result has been an oversupply of rental stock with prices dropping by up to 30%. The demand for housing is slowly returning, but HMO’s have been hard hit, some standing empty since March and prospective tenants only wanting occupation in August or September. It seems like there’s been a power shift with tenants demanding rent reductions as landlords are left fearful that their property could stand empty for a few months.”

Colin MacMillan

Glasgow Property Letting, Glasgow – Colin MacMillan

“What a massive unprecedented difference this quarter has made to the PRS. Who could have imagined what has been a roller coaster of change during this COVID-19 pandemic. At GPL we have been geared up for working from home for some time but not on this scale and it’s something we are getting used to. At GPL we have been very proactive in lockdown, with remote instructions, video viewings, referencing and check-ins, which will no doubt be the new norm going forward. We have had a small number of tenants seeking financial assistance but not on the scale anticipated. We had also engaged the services of Pinstripe Inventories who have been paramount in coordinating final inspections, inventories and remote check ins which makes our duties much more manageable. No one knows what the future will bring to the PRS but one thing is for certain, people still need a place to live, so the flexibility of renting will no doubt be very high on the agenda.”

Lorraine Robb

The Property Store, South Lanarkshire – Lorraine Robb

“We are looking forward to the third quarter which will see the reopening of our markets. We are currently receiving a high number of enquiries from clients looking to move. Stock is very low at the moment, with few terminations received while moves were put on hold, however, we expect this to change rapidly now that the market has reopened. We have been working hard to ensure that as we start to resume activity, it is done with our staff and clients’ safety, which is paramount. We anticipate the next few months to be a period of high demand which should allow landlords to obtain strong market rents for their investments.”

Brian Gilmour

Indigo Square, Glasgow – Brian Gilmour

“I am sure everyone is fed up with the words unprecedented and unique times, however, there is no other way to describe the past quarter. Like all agents, our doors have been closed and we have had to revert to virtual viewings. In the initial period of lockdown we had a number of potential landlords with empty properties looking for an agent who would break the law and market as usual. This died away and we continued to receive a steady stream of interest and reserved some properties based purely on videos. As soon as the lockdown eased in England we saw a huge leap in enquiries and people seeking physical viewings and this increase in activity has been reflected in the volume of calls received in to my Radio Scotland property slot. These viewings will commence 29th June and our diary is already full. The challenge of pandemic viewings is the time it will take to ensure all safety precautions are taken prior to and in between each viewing appointment.”

Grant Denholm

Littlejohns Ltd, Edinburgh – Grant Denholm

“Our HMO flats were hit very hard with notices at the start of COVID-19 and although we are starting to get enquires on them, it is obvious that student numbers will fall in Edinburgh this year, and it is forecasted that overseas student numbers will reduce by half. We still predict strong interest in our flats in the traditionally popular student areas and expect rents to be in line with last year.”

Steven Strachan

Capital Letters, Glasgow – Steven Strachan

“The restrictions which had to be put in place to temper the Covid-19 global pandemic obviously also impacted the movement within the PRS in an unprecedented way in terms of its speed and reach geographically. Throughout lockdown, the number of enquiries had reduced dramatically, with virtual tours being the most popular option for everyone to view properties, but as the restrictions began to ease, the demand from those following up on virtual viewings with physical viewings and new enquiries coming in, has seen a huge spike in enquires which has then led to people now moving into property again.”

Jamie More

Jamie More, Edinburgh – Albany Lettings

“In Q2 we have gone from a market entering its stronger months, to slowing down to levels that I have not experienced in 12 years of working within the industry. Dealing with the demands from around 13% of our tenants who have encountered income issues due to COVID-19, has been a new and challenging exercise. However, by reaching varying levels of lowered rental rates, we have greatly reduced the number of tenants leaving their home and continued to achieve affordable income for our clients. With the easing of lockdown and encouraging responses from the market, we are optimistic that we are on the right path to recovery.”

Matthew Wilcken

The Flat Company, Edinburgh – Matthew Wilcken

“As Scotland gradually begins to open up again, we have seen the lettings market pick up dramatically. While rents have dropped due to the increased stock on the market from Airbnb and students lets, HMO properties are being snapped up as students are eager to return to Edinburgh or start their university careers. We have seen some short term let properties go long term and new properties come on board while others are holding out until pending revised travel restrictions. Many landlords are taking the opportunity to renovate their properties or upgrade them during the summer, meaning the standard of accommodation offered to professionals and students alike continues to improve.”

Charlie Inness

Glenham Property, Edinburgh – Charlie Inness

“Lockdown put the lettings market into a period of enforced semi hibernation that resulted in a build-up of demand. The reopening of the market on 29th June has released this and there has been a significant surge in enquiries from people who are looking to move. Another consequence of lockdown is an oversupply of stock on the market, which has been further exacerbated by properties being moved from the short term rental market to the PRS. It is our feeling that this oversupply may have a short term impact on rents as landlords seek to get vacant properties let, but this will diminish as the oversupply is reduced over the coming weeks. We have seen high levels of applications for properties and hence are seeing stock levels reducing fairly quickly.”

Alan Nash

ACE Property, Edinburgh – Alan Nash

“With the market now open and guidelines in place, we have seen a steep rise in enquires and deposits paid. We are now looking at individual cases where rent reductions were given to tenants, with a view to bring rents back to original levels. I fear when furlough stops and redundancies increase, our sector will be hit hard, but for now the market is busy with new landlord enquiries and tenant viewing requests. So we adapt and keep pushing forward.”

Andrew Markham

Burgh Property, Edinburgh – Andrew Markham

“Q2 2020 will not be forgotten quickly as the market deeply suffered the consequences of COVID-19 turning the Edinburgh market upside down towards the end of March. After a short spike in tenants vacating around early April, we saw the market settle into mild hibernation, with a reasonably steady demand from people still needing to move house for essential purposes – key workers shielding, landlords repossessing to move in and a wide range of unusual life circumstances not normally seen to us! In recent weeks, pent up demand from tenants has started to flow through the market and our virtual viewings have stimulated good quality enquiries for our available properties. We are confident that the market will react positively in Q3 with an increase in activity across the sector.”

Graeme McEwan

Be-Rented, Glasgow – Graeme McEwan

“Be Rented have seen strong interest in the rental market even during the lockdown. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, tenants and landlords are keen to get moving. We are seeing encouraging signs of return to a normal rental market. Also with mortgage lenders increasing the deposit required for first time buyers, these people will stay or turn to the rental market for accommodation.”

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.