Main findings for average rent changes in the latest year (2015 to 2016)
- 17 out of 18 areas of Scotland saw increases in average 2 bedroom private rent levels between 2015 and 2016, ranging from 4.6% in West Dunbartonshire to 0.1% in Dumfries and Galloway. Rents in Aberdeen and Shire fell by 13.7%, the largest annual fall in 2 bedroom rent levels in any area since the data series began in 2010.
- These regional trends combine to show a 1.0% increase in average 2 bedroom rents at a Scotland level between 2015 and 2016, the smallest annual increase since the data series began in 2010.
- There were also increases in rents for 1 bedroom (0.4%), 3 bedroom (1.2%) and 1 bedroom shared properties (4.0%). Rents for 4 bedroom properties fell by 0.7%.
Main findings for average rent changes between 2010 and 2016
- Average rents have increased above the rate of inflation between 2010 and 2016 across all property sizes in Lothian and Greater Glasgow, and for all properties sizes except 1 bedroom properties in Aberdeen and Shire.
- Fife and Forth Valley have seen average rents rise above the rate of inflation for 4 bedroom and 1 bedroom shared properties, and 7 other areas of the country have seen rents increase above the rate of inflation for a single property size category.
- All other areas and property sizes across Scotland have seen average rents rise less than the rate of inflation, or have seen average rents fall, between 2010 and 2016.
CHART 1: Cumulative % Change in Average (mean) Rents from
2010 to 2016 (years to end-Sept), by Broad Rental Market Area -
This publication presents statistics on private sector rent levels in Scotland over the years 2010 to 2016 (years to end-September) using data from the Rent Service Scotland market evidence database. It presents information on rent levels for different property sizes across each of the 18 broad rental market areas in Scotland  . It contains information on average rents as well as rents at the higher and lower end of the market  .
It is important to note that the data collected on individual rents may encompass different property types and addresses for each data collection year, and that this publication is not an attempt at providing a case-matched, tracked-sample or weighted-index approach to monitoring changes to rent levels over time. See Annex D for further information on methodological differences to the ONS Index of Private Rents.
Main findings for 2 bedroom properties
The most common type of property in the private rented sector is a 2 bedroom property. Findings relating to other types of properties can be different to those for 2 bedroomed properties, and information on them is provided later in this publication.
- From 2015 to 2016, all areas of Scotland, with the exception of Aberdeen and Shire, have seen increases in rent for 2 bedroom properties. These ranged from 4.6% in West Dunbartonshire and 4.2% in Forth Valley and Greater Glasgow to 0.2% in Lothian and North Lanarkshire and 0.1% in Dumfries & Galloway. Aberdeen and Shire saw a decrease of 13.7%, the largest annual drop in average 2 bedroom rents since the data series began in 2010, and which is likely to reflect decreased demand for rental properties following the downturn in the oil industry.
- These regional trends combine to show an increase of 1.0% in average rents for 2 bedroom properties from 2015 to 2016.
- For the year to end-September 2016, Lothian had the highest average monthly rents for 2 bedroom properties across Scotland (£831). Other areas with high rents included Aberdeen & Shire (£754), Greater Glasgow (£696), and East Dunbartonshire (£636). Areas with the lowest average rents for 2 bedroom properties included Dumfries & Galloway (£447), Scottish Borders (£452), and the Ayrshires (£463).
- Figures on changes to rents over the period from 2010 to 2016 should be considered in the context of the cumulative increase in the UK Consumer Price Index of 12.6% from Sept-10 to Sept-16  . For example, over the 6 year period, average rents for 2 bedroom properties in Lothian, Greater Glasgow, and Aberdeen and Shire have risen faster than the consumer price index, whilst changes in average rents for 2 bedroom properties in other areas of the country have been below the rise in the consumer price index. Between Sept-15 and Sept-16, the UK Consumer Price Index increased by 1.0%.
- These regional trends over the 6 year period combine to show a 14.8% cumulative increase in average rents from 2010 to 2016 for 2 bedroom properties at the Scotland level.
The changes in average rents for 2 bedroom properties between 2015 to 2016, and 2010 to 2016, are illustrated in Figure A and Figure B.
Figure A helps to illustrate the variation across the country in average rent changes from 2015 to 2016 while Figure B shows the cumulative change from 2010 to 2016.
Figure A: Change in average (mean) rents for 2 bedroom
properties between 2015 and 2016.
Figure B: Percentage change in average (mean) rents for 2
bedroom properties between 2010 and 2016.