Average 2 bedroom private rents up by 4.4%

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Between 2016 and 2017, 15 out of 18 areas of Scotland saw increases in average rent levels for 2 bedroom private rental properties, ranging from 0.7% in the Ayrshires to 6.9% in Lothian and 7.0% in Greater Glasgow. Aberdeen and Shire saw a decrease of 9.6%, the third consecutive annual decrease, which is likely to reflect decreased demand for rental properties following the downturn in the oil industry.

These regional trends combine to show a 4.4% increase in average 2 bedroom monthly rents at a Scotland level from £616 in 2016 to £643 in 2017, the highest annual increase since 2010. This compares to an increase in the UK Consumer Price Index of 3.0% in the year to Sept-17.

Over the longer 7 year period from 2010 to 2017, the two areas of Lothian and Greater Glasgow have both seen 2 bedroom average rents increase above the rate of inflation of 15.9% over the full length of this time period, with all other sixteen areas of Scotland seeing cumulative rent increases below the rate of inflation.

Statistics on private sector rent levels from 2010 to 2017 have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The following main findings are based on 2 bedroom properties because these are the most prevalent size of property in the private rented sector. Figures on average rents across all property size categories, i.e. for 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom properties as well as 1 bedroom shared properties, are available in the main publication.


Change in average rent - 2 bedroom properties - 2010-2017
Change in average rent - 2 bedroom properties - 2010-2017

Over the 7 year period from 2010 to 2017, the Lothian area has seen the highest increase in private rents for 2 bedroom properties, with average monthly rents rising by 33.7% (cumulative increase over 7 years), whilst average rents in the Greater Glasgow area have risen by a cumulative 32.1%.

For the remaining areas of Scotland, cumulative increases over the last 7 years have ranged from 0.5% in the Ayrshires to 14.9% in Fife. These regional trends combine to show a 19.9% cumulative increase in average rents from 2010 to 2017 for 2 bedroom properties at the Scotland level.

For the year to end-September 2017, Lothian had the highest average monthly rents for 2 bedroom properties across Scotland (£888). Other areas with high rents included Greater Glasgow (£745), Aberdeen and Shire (£682), and East Dunbartonshire (£653). Areas with the lowest average rents for 2 bedroom properties included Dumfries and Galloway (£453),Scottish Borders (£459), and the Ayrshires (£467).

Figures on changes to rents between 2010 and 2017 should be considered in the context of the cumulative increase in the UK Consumer Price Index of 15.9% from Sept-10 to Sept-17[1].

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


The full statistical publication is available at www.gov.scot/stats/bulletins/01300. This includes main findings on rent levels for 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom, 4 bedroom, and 1 bedroom shared properties. It presents information on rent levels for these different property sizes across each of the 18 broad rental market areas in Scotland and contains information on average rents as well as rents at the higher and lower end of the market.

The publication uses data from the Rent Service Scotland market evidence database, which is collected for the purposes of determining annual Local Housing Allowance levels and Local Reference Rent. The rental information contained in the market evidence database is largely based on advertised rents, therefore it is important to note that the statistics presented in this publication do not represent rent increases for existing tenants.

 The aim of this statistical publication is to provide a detailed and user friendly presentation of private rental values, trends and distributions. The main users of this publication include those involved in housing policy and practice, researchers, tenants, landlords, letting agents, and other individuals with an interest in the private rented sector.

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards  – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About.

[1] ONS CPI Reference, published on 17 October 2017 https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/consumerpriceinflation/september2017

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