ABERDEEN has overtaken Edinburgh as Scotland’s letting hotspot, according to new figures released by rental experts Citylets.
Rental prices in the North East city have soared and the area has witnessed the highest growth of Scotland’s three major cities in the past year.
And such is the demand for properties that Aberdeen is now the most expensive place in the country to rent a one or two bedroom property.
The inaugural quarterly Citylets Report is the first time a detailed picture of the rental market in Scotland’s three major cities has been available.
It has been compiled from data from more than 45,000 properties advertised on www.citylets.co.uk every year and more than 200 letting agents using Scotland’s most successful residential letting portal.
Thomas Ashdown, managing director of Citylets, said the results of the report may come as a surprise to many with an interest in the Scottish rental market.
He said: “I was aware that the rental market in Aberdeen was extremely strong but I must admit to being slightly surprised by just how well it has been performing.
“The fact that it has now overtaken Edinburgh in both rental prices and demand for one and two bedroom properties is astonishing and underlines the reason why it is one of the most attractive areas for buy-to-let investors in the country.
“I’d say this change has occurred as a result of increasing performance in Aberdeen rather than a dip in the market elsewhere.
“The reasons for this are likely to be the continued strength of the Aberdeen economy, an increase in employment in the oil and gas sector and the rise of Aberdeen property prices.”
The report shows that in the first quarter of 2007 the average rental value of a one bedroom property in Aberdeen was £499 per month compared to £494 and £434 for Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively.
The Aberdeen figure represents an 18.4 per cent increase from Q1 2006, while prices in Edinburgh and Glasgow have risen by just 1.6 per cent and 3.0 per cent during the same period.
For two bedroom properties Aberdeen’s figure of £788 is a 10.3 per cent increase on the previous year with Edinburgh showing just a 0.5 per cent increase (£637) and Glasgow 2.0 per cent (£563).
The report also highlights a huge demand for one bedroom properties in Aberdeen with 31 per cent of all properties let within a week of going on the market and 84 per cent within a month. The average time to let in the city for one bedroom properties was just 17 days after going on the market.
Thomas added: “Until now there has been very little independent and easily accessible data on the Scottish rental market, despite the continued boom of the buy-to-let market.
“This report provides everyone who has an interest in the Scottish rental market with an interesting and easy-to-read barometer for the first time.
“It’s fair to say that we already knew the rental market in Scotland was strong generally and particularly in Aberdeen, but now we have the hard data that confirms this and allows us to continue to analyse trends and developments in the future.”
Citylets was pioneered by Thomas in early 2000 after graduating from Edinburgh University. It is Scotland’s first and most successful online letting portal and has now successfully expanded overseas into the Northern Irish market.