Data from Your Move shows the Scottish rental market grew in the year to October 2018, but there were wide variations between the five Scottish regions.
The fastest rental growth was in the Highlands and Islands, closely followed by the Glasgow and Clyde region. Meanwhile there were falls in the East and South of Scotland regions.
Your Move Scotland found that average rent in the nation was £573 per calendar month (seasonally adjusted). On a non-seasonally adjusted basis the average rent in October stood at £582.
The Highlands and Islands was once again the most expensive place to rent in the country, Your Move Scotland found, with the average property let for £698 in October. This region posted the largest rent rises in the past 12 months, with the average property costing 14 per cent more today than it did a year ago. Your Move says there has been a noticeable increase in the number of English landlords buying in the area
The estate agency pointed to the new campus at the University of Highlands and Islands as key to attracting people to the area, while budget airlines operating from Inverness Airport encouraged travel to and from the Highlands.
The next fastest growth came in the Glasgow and Clyde region. Rental prices here rose by 13 per cent in the year to October to reach an average of £613. It is the third most expensive place to rent in Scotland.
In the East of Scotland average monthly rents dropped by 1.7 per cent year-on-year to hit £529. The East is the cheapest region to rent in Scotland. Finally, in the South of Scotland, rents fell faster – dropping 4.4 per cent – and now stand at an average of £535 per calendar month.
Compared to September, all regions were flat or saw rising average rents. The only region to buck this trend was the South of Scotland, where prices were down 0.5 per cent month-on-month.
Your Move Scotland lettings director Brian Moran says: “Perhaps it is the breath-taking scenery tempting people out of the city, but the demand for properties in the Highlands and Islands has grown strongly in recent times.
“Last month it toppled Edinburgh and Lothians as the most expensive region, and in September its excellent performance continued. Landlords continue to enjoy strong returns on their investment, particularly when compared to investors south of the border. An average return of 4.7 per cent is also strong when compared to other forms of investment.”