Source: ONS Rental Price Index, Consumer Price Inflation (CPI)
Private Housing Rental Prices
Private housing rental prices increased by 1.3% annually in Scotland in May 2021. This continues a period of relative stability in nominal private rental price growth. Since October 2015, rental price growth has ranged between 0% and 1.5%, with an average of 0.5%. In real terms (adjusting for inflation, using CPI), the annual change in May 2021 was -0.8%. Chart 3.1 shows that the annual change in real private housing rental prices rose towards positive territory as CPI inflation fell due to the impact of Covid-19, but it has returned to negative territory with the recent increase in CPI inflation, which reached 2.1% in May 2021. This moderate growth in average rents across Scotland in recent years masks significant regional variation, as illustrated by Chart 3.2.
A ban on the enforcement of eviction orders in areas in Levels 3 and 4 is in place until 30 September 2021, although all areas in Scotland are currently in Level 2 or lower. The Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill, passed on 24 June 2021, has extended additional protections for tenants to 31 March 2022: in particular, measures increasing the notice period for social and private evictions to 6 months in most cases, giving the First Tier Tribunal discretion when considering all grounds for eviction in the private rented sector, and requiring private landlords seeking eviction on rent arrears grounds to follow Pre-Action Requirements. The Scottish Government has also announced a new £10 million grant fund to support tenants struggling to pay their rent as a direct result of Covid-19.
Source: SG/ONS CPI
* Note: Scottish Government statistics are based almost entirely on advertised rents at point of new let, and thus will tend to be higher than the ONS data which makes an allowance for rent changes in existing lets. In addition, chart 3.2 looks solely at 2 bedroom properties, whilst 3.1 looks at the entire market