Scotland business

Scottish annual rent growth slows

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Image caption Two out of five areas of Scotland saw rents fall during 2014

The average rent in Scotland fell last month contributing to slower annual growth, according to a new report.

Lettings agents, Your Move, said rents fell by 0.4% taking the average cost of renting to £536 per month.

The pace of annual rent growth in Scotland dropped by two-thirds over the course of 2014 with average monthly rents now 1.2% (£6) higher than a year ago.

Over the Christmas period more than 7% of rents were late.

Edinburgh and the Lothians was the only area which saw an increase in annual rental growth from 2.5% in December 2013 to 4.5% in December 2014.

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Image caption Map of average rents last month by Scottish region. Source: Your Move

Overall, rents are higher than a year ago in three out of five regions of Scotland.

Average monthly rents in the Highlands & Islands are now 2.0% (£11) lower than December 2013.

The South was the only other area of Scotland to experience an annual fall, with average rents down 1.8% over the past twelve months.

Your Move regional managing director Christine Campbell said: "This wider downturn in growth during 2014 marks a return to the natural market rhythm.

"Scottish rents were holding fast on an even keel throughout 2011 and 2012, until the abolition of tenancy fees in November 2012 sparked a new tide of unnaturally steep rent hikes."

She added: "This should act as cautionary tale for policymakers considering further constricting changes to lettings legislation. The rental market is thriving by its own hand, and too much undue intervention may poison the current climate of affordability."

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