Main findings for average rent changes in the latest year (2016 to 2017)
- 15 out of 18 areas of Scotland saw increases in average 2 bedroom private rent levels between 2016 and 2017 (years to end Sept), ranging from 7.0% in Greater Glasgow to 0.7% in the Ayrshires. Rents for 2 bedroom properties in Aberdeen and Shire fell by 9.6%, the third consecutive annual decrease.
- 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.
- At a Scotland level there were also increases in rents for 1 bedroom (4.0%), 3 bedroom (4.6%), 4 bedroom (4.9%) and 1 bedroom shared properties (3.0%).
- These increases compare to UK CPI inflation of 3.0% in the year to Sept 2017.
Main findings for average rent changes between 2010 and 2017
- Average rents have increased above the rate of inflation between 2010 and 2017 across all property sizes in both Lothian and Greater Glasgow.
- East Dunbartonshire, Fife, Forth Valley, and Perth and Kinross have seen average rents rise above the rate of inflation for 3 bedroom, 4 bedroom and 1 bedroom shared properties.
- Argyll and Bute, Dumfries and Galloway, and West Dunbartonshire have seen average rents rise less than the rate of inflation, or have seen average rents fall, for all property sizes between 2010 and 2017.
Chart 1: Cumulative % Change In Average (mean) Rents from 2010 to 2017 (years to end-Sept), by Broad Rental Market Area – 2 Bedroom Properties
This publication presents statistics on private sector rent levels in Scotland over the years 2010 to 2017 (years to end-September) 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  . 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.
It is also 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, with almost half (47 per cent) of all private rented properties in Scotland estimated to be this size  . Findings relating to other types of properties can be different to those for 2 bedroom properties, and information on them is provided later in this publication.
- From 2016 to 2017, all areas of Scotland, with the exception of Aberdeen and Shire, Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire, have seen increases in rent for 2 bedroom properties. These ranged from 0.7% in the Ayrshires, up 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. Decreases were also seen in Argyll and Bute (-1.7%) and West Dunbartonshire (-0.5%).
- These regional trends combine to show an increase of 4.4% in average rents for 2 bedroom properties from £616 in 2016 to £643 in 2017. This compares to an increase in the UK Consumer Price Index of 3.0% in the year to Sept-17  .
- 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 over the period from 2010 to 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  . For example, over the 7 year period, average rents for 2 bedroom properties in Lothian and Greater Glasgow 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.
- These regional trends over the 7 year period combine to show a 19.9% cumulative increase in average monthly rents from £536 in 2010 to £643 in 2017 for 2 bedroom properties at the Scotland level.
The changes in average rents for 2 bedroom properties between 2016 to 2017, and 2010 to 2017, are illustrated in Figure A and Figure B, respectively.
Figure A: Change in average (mean) rents for 2 bedroom properties between 2016 and 2017.
Figure B: Percentage change in average (mean) rents for 2 bedroom properties between 2010 and 2017.