Agent Views

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

Chris Minchin

Winchesters, Aberdeen – Chris Minchin

“The past quarter in Aberdeen and the north east has been full on with quality properties not lasting long on the open market. The number of tenants waiting for 2 bed houses + in outlying areas has increased dramatically with most houses attracting record numbers of viewings – subsequently the market does lack supply in these areas. 1 bedroom properties are proving less popular unless they are presented in a modern and fresh style. The student market is returning well in anticipation of universities resuming in the new semester – this is welcome and refreshing for landlords operating in this market.”

Adam Campbell

Aberdein Considine, Perth – Adam Campbell

“Demand continues to outstrip supply in the Perth rental market as we enter quarter 2 and the summer months. This has led to an increase in rental prices not seen in the Perthshire market for a number of years. Properties of all sizes have let well with family sized homes being particularly attractive and short in supply right across Perth and Kinross. There is no sign of this demand decreasing through the summer months and landlords should feel confident in sourcing a tenant for their empty properties in this current market.”

Ken Bell

1LET, Edinburgh – Ken Bell

“Q2 has seen the momentum build from the latter half of Q1 with the lettings market continuing to go from strength to strength. If I was to sum up Q2 in one world, I would use the word “movement” and lots of it. The market has exploded with tenants moving into and out of properties, landlords buying and selling and enquiries for available properties at an all-time 2021 high. Where previously rental values had dipped, I am confident we will see steady growth as demand increases as the year progresses.”

Nicky Lloyd

ESPC Lettings, Edinburgh – Nicky Lloyd

“After a relatively quiet and uncertain start to 2021, Q2 saw a resurgence in the market with tenant demand doubling from where we’d started at the beginning of the year. Landlords were seeing shorter time to let, and after a spell of rents being reduced, we saw most hold steady and some increases. The market for new landlords and investors also started to pick up with more new properties coming to the market.”

Helen Hall

Macleod Lettings, Glasgow – Helen Hall

“Despite an uncertain start to Q1, Q2 has seen whirlwind of activity across the market. The easing of restrictions and reopening of universities has meant the student market has surged. This has meant the demand for our HMO properties now outweighs the supply, with students keen to secure good quality housing for the next academic year. The city centre appears to be slowly bouncing back and interest in our central properties has increased, although an element of uncertainty is still present. With the booming sales market offering an attractive cash injection for sellers, we have seen a handful of clients dispose of their assets. Notwithstanding, our stock levels continue to rise at a controlled rate, with clients continuing to invest in properties and refurbishment projects, increasing the supply of good quality rental properties in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.”

Karen Turner

Rettie & Co., Edinburgh – Karen Turner

“With peak letting season now in full flow, we are seeing new stock letting very quickly. Demand is high for properties out with the city boundary as they tend to have gardens. Demand here is pushing rents beyond where we would normally expect to see them. Properties which are up for re let are where we are seeing pressure on the rents as they are competing with the more keenly priced new to market. This will be short lived as the market settles and stock reduces. Overall though, the market is strong and it’s great that we are seeing buoyancy in our city centres once more.”

Rick McCann

At Home In Edinburgh , Edinburgh – Rick McCann

“We started the quarter with a high level of stock on the market and long time to lets. We saw demand steadily increase throughout the quarter. By June, depressed rent levels were returning close to pre pandemic levels and there was a noticeable reduction in time to let. The profile of new tenants reflected more moves from the rest of the UK and internationally as restrictions lifted. The student market remained tricky with most student properties serving notice before the end of May. We managed to keep the time to let low by discounting rents for the summer period. Confidence is returning and we are hopeful that we will see this continue into Q3.”

Matthew Wilcken

The Flat Company, Edinburgh – Matthew Wilcken

“Quarter 2 has been an exceptionally busy time – we have been carrying out our management inspections and letting our student properties that were delayed due to the Covid restrictions. We have also seen a bounce back in short term letting. The pandemic has resulted in an evolution in the way that properties are viewed and reserved with potential tenants expecting floor plans, video tours and high quality photos before arranging a viewing. The market is not quite back to normal and tenants have more choice than ever but if your property is well maintained, has good marketing material and is priced correctly (Edinburgh rents have dropped slightly), then you will be at the front of the queue for getting your property let.”

Grant Denholm

Littlejohns Ltd, Edinburgh – Grant Denholm

“We have found that up to June this year, although we were letting a good number of properties, this was being outweighed by the number of notices we received. This changed in June and the amount of our available stock has reduced dramatically in a short period of time. We feel this is mainly down to the student market and despite universities not being able to guarantee on site learning in the short term, confidence has returned to this sector which has led to HMO’s and smaller properties letting quickly.”

Brian Gilmour

Indigo Square, Glasgow – Brian Gilmour

“The rental market remains strong. There was a period during the last quarter where we saw a dip in activity for 2 bedroom properties, specifically for those properties that would appeal to younger renters finding accommodation together and sharing the costs due to a lack of students and the limitation of new professional jobs. In comparison, we have seen an increase in the number of people listing houses with gardens in their viewing criteria and any such properties have moved very quickly. One of the challenges for potential tenants are the restrictive viewing times. Agents can only get a fraction of the number people per hour out to a property, and this is accelerating the usual speed of decision making among tenants keen to secure a property before future viewings can take place.”

Jonathan Gordon

Clan Gordon, Edinburgh – Jonathan Gordon

“As we enter the second half of 2021, we can see that the Edinburgh lettings market has stabilised and things slowly but surely are approaching some sense normality. For Clan Gordon, our overall available properties have reduced which is the complete opposite from this time last year; there is no more ‘over supply’ of properties, allowing us to achieve good rentals and tenants for our clients.”

Eilidh Finlayson

Eilidh Finlayson - Finlayson Gore

“Q2 has shown a positive upsurge in student lettings and we have welcomed the return to this normally very busy sector of the market. Our student tenants have been very proactive in securing good quality accommodation some months in advance of the new academic year instead of leaving their choices until the last minute. Elsewhere, demand for varied properties remains strong with minimal voids and quick turnaround times between tenancies. On the horizon the anticipated end to the JRS is concerning – again strong communication with our tenants will remain key to preserving stable tenancies.”

Jack Gallagher

Western Lettings, Glasgow – Jack Gallagher

“Sensibly priced properties are experiencing strong demand in spite of the continuing lack of students. We have recently seen a rise in the number of tenants serving notice, many of whom are buying their first property, or taking advantage of the relaxation of restrictions to relocate. While demand for high end properties is currently rising, we feel that it has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.”

Scott Morrison

Northwood, Aberdeen – Scott Morrison

“Q2 has been very encouraging with an increased level of enquiries and properties being let since moving to Level 2 at the end of April. There has been a surge in students looking to secure accommodation for the start of the new term and HMOs have been more popular than this time last year showing a growing confidence that things will begin to return to normal by September. In general, there is still a great demand for 3+ bed properties. Those that come on the market are very popular as tenants still look to accommodate working from home or for their own private outdoor space to enjoy.”

Danielle Kerr

Umega Lettings, Edinburgh – Danielle Kerr

“We’ve been delighted to see the Edinburgh rental market spring to life in Q2 at Umega. Our potential tenant enquiries have steadily increased throughout the quarter and this has translated across to the number of lets agreed, where we’ve seen a huge amount of action. All this activity has had a positive impact on our market list, which is decreasing gradually. The market remains competitive, and strong visuals are still a must. Rents are holding up, but tenants are more discerning than ever when it comes to the standard of properties – rightly so! We’re gearing up for an incredibly busy Q3 as we welcome more students back to the city in the next few months.”

Grant Fairbairn

Grant Fairbairn PL, Aberdeen – Grant Fairbairn

“Q2 has seen a significant increase in rental activity in Aberdeen. Good quality houses in the west end and suburbs seem to be in the highest demand, some receiving multiple offers and renting in just a few days. One and two bed flats in the city centre remain over supplied, however, are still renting if well-presented and the price is correct. With students gradually returning and the price of Brent crude oil getting closer to $75 a barrel, I forecast a busy Q3.”

Steve Coyle

Cullen Property Ltd, Edinburgh – Steve Coyle

“Q2 saw mixed results for different sectors in the PRS. One and two bed properties fared well, with rents holding steady despite recent significant rises in recent years, and sensibly priced units letting well. HMO student properties remained challenging, these still being affected by a still-settling PRT regime, Covid problems and a lack of summer work/festivals to encourage students to maintain a lease through summer. However, broadly half ‘stayed-on’ and lettings and enquiries remain strong for those which became available. Landlord and investor appetite continued to grow steadily as increasing confidence in property asset performance continues.”

Eduardo Prato

Martin & Co., Aberdeen – Eduardo Prato

“The Aberdeen market has woken up! Last quarter we reported a slow start of the year and this was again the mood for the two months of Q2 2021. However, June brought a market that resembled the boom of 2013-2014. It’s interesting to note an increased demand for very good quality properties in the west end, Cults and Bieldside areas. Clearly this buoyant market is linked with the expected increased activity in the summer months, but this summer has started with a bang! The message to landlords of high end properties is: ‘this is the time to let your property in Aberdeen. Don’t miss this window opportunity.’”

John Cox

Cox & Co., Edinburgh – John Cox

“As Covid restrictions ease and we all begin to see light at the end of the tunnel, the future is bright for the PRS in Edinburgh. Tenant enquiries have increased exponentially, allowing us to fill many of the vacant properties that fell foul of the pandemic. Our average TTL has reduced and demand has most definitely increased. We have also seen a sharp rise in overseas investor enquiries looking to take advantage of the upturn in the local market.”

Charlie Inness

Glenham Property, Edinburgh – Charlie Inness

“The pandemic has hit the Edinburgh market harder than most other places, with much of this due to the large amount of short term stock being dumped onto the long term market. We expect the downward pressure on rents in the capital to ease somewhat and the trajectory to flatten into the next quarter. We are seeing the green shoots of recovery and renewed activity in the market with the oversupply gradually reducing and expect the market to continue to stabilise into 2022.”

Andrew Markham

Burgh Property, Edinburgh – Andrew Markham

“The Edinburgh market in Q2 has settled into a steady rhythm with an uptake in activity across all sectors – particularly for the 1 bed and HMO markets where we had seen a relative slowdown in 2020. The easing of restrictions has seen tenants being more willing to view properties and they are more open to thinking about moving – so as life returns closer to normality, we are seeing the tenant demand increase and the tenant pool widen. Whilst stock levels are still high across the market, the demand for attractive properties remains good with rents holding at the same level or sometimes higher than the previous rent achieved. With the anticipated ending of restrictions due in August, we expect the market to react positively in to Q3 with more tenants searching and more stock coming off the market – further impacting positively on rents.”

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