Pandemic Recovery Boosts Edinburgh Rental Market

The Coronavirus pandemic and repeated lockdowns severely impacted Edinburgh’s property rental market throughout 2020/21. With students and tourists staying away and little movement with private lettings, most landlords just had to sit tight and ride out the storm.

But just over two years after the first lockdown was announced, the Edinburgh rental market is once again flourishing, offering opportunities for both landlords and tenants.

Edinburgh’s leading letting agent Clan Gordon has witnessed many peaks and troughs in the market over the past 15 years and has supported clients throughout. During the pandemic, we acted quickly to ensure landlords and tenants could still contact our staff despite offices being closed and liaised with landlords and tenants with creative solutions to any challenges.

The pandemic triggered financial challenges for some

After two tough years, it seems the worst is now behind us, and better times are on the horizon. The challenges created by the pandemic meant some tenants who were furloughed or lost jobs were unable to fulfil rent payments, and landlords, in turn, were hard-pressed to meet their mortgage repayments.

The Scottish government helped out with loan schemes and implemented a £10m grant fund for tenants struggling with rent arrears, with money paid directly to landlords.

Lenders offered mortgage holidays as the impact of Coronavirus took effect, and landlords were asked not to evict tenants who could not pay their bills, with notice periods for evictions extended by the government to take account of the unprecedented situation.

Edinburgh rental market bounces back

But after some of the most challenging years for Edinburgh’s private rented sector, demand has returned. Consequently, in the first quarter of 2022, the average rent in the capital reached an all-time high of £1,214 a month (Citylets Q1 Report). Competition created by the return of the student population sent rents for four-bedroom properties soaring by an incredible 27% year-on-year.

Many properties were let before making it onto the market, and tenants snapped up 84% of all available homes within the first month. One and two-bedroom properties accounted for more than 80% of the homes rented in Edinburgh in the first three months of 2022, with almost half of the one-bed flats in Edinburgh let within a week.

Rental Property Shortage in Edinburgh

There is now a serious supply shortage in the private rented sector in Edinburgh, so what can tenants do to ensure they’re first in line when properties come on the market? Clan Gordon recommends signing up for alerts with all the leading property websites such as ZooplaRightmove and Citylets to be amongst the first to hear when properties become available.

Making sure references, bank statements and deposits are all sorted is also an advantage as it means tenants are ready to move quickly when they find a property they like.

For landlords, this unprecedented demand means tenants will pay more for the most desirable properties, so it’s important to invest in quality renovations and decoration to meet expectations. Competition for the best properties is fierce, making it possible to source reliable, reputable tenants in record time.

A property that looks like a show home is sure to attract the best tenants and return the highest yield, so spending money wisely on key desirables is essential.

Clan Gordon’s team of professional property managers can offer expert advice to tenants and landlords. Schedule a call now if you have a property to let in Edinburgh or are thinking of switching agents.


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