Covid's Arrow | Issue 53

Covids Arrow
  • Global pandemic upends Scottish PRS
  • Property stocks rise 32% in March 2020
  • Short term stock pours into PRS
  • Agents innovate and adapt to serve essential moves

Scottish Monthly Rent Analysis Q1 2019-Q1 2020

Stock volume in the Scottish PRS rockets 32% in the last month of the quarter as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic took hold. A deluge of property arrived to the PRS from the short term letting sector in some areas such as Edinburgh where stocks rose a full 66% over the course of March. Tenants also took advantage of the flexibility of the new PRS tenancies and an unseasonal numbed notices to quit were served including many student HMO properties. Volumes of new lets eased over the course of the month and came to a virtual standstill by month end when restrictions on movement were formally introduced. Arriving late in the quarter, the pandemic did not however materially impact on the rental or time to let trends for Q1 2020 which operated broadly in line with expectations over the quarter as a whole.

Scotland Average Stock Levels


Average Rent (pcm) by Number of Bedrooms

Average Time To Let (TTL) by Number of Bedrooms

Citylets Rental Index - Scotland

2008 100.0 101.6 102.8 100.2
2009 98.8 98.1 99.2 97.7
2010 98.9 101.4 100.6 99.8
2011 100.3 102.8 103.9 101.7
2012 102.9 104.2 105.0 104.0
2013 104.7 107.4 106.5 105.1
2014 108.4 112.1 114.1 113.5
2015 116.4 118.1 117.4 115.7
2016 118.9 120.5 120.2 114.6
2017 119.1 122.3 119.7 113.8
2018 120.9 123.9 122.3 119.5
2019 122.9 129.1 127.3 123.6
2020 125.7      

Market Composition

Households: Rented

Karen Turner

Karen Turner - Rettie & Co.

“While the sales market may be on hiatus for the moment, with Registers of Scotland having been closed to regular transactions, the lettings market is seeing rapid restructuring as landlords who had been active in the short term let sector have seen demand and revenue evaporate. With regulation of the short term let sector primed for 2021, the outbreak of the Coronavirus has made a pending consideration an instant concern. In the past few weeks, we have seen many short term landlords move their properties into long term rental, as well as fielding new enquiries from Airbnb landlords who are trying to mitigate income loss caused by Covid-19.”

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