Corona-Earthquake in Scottish Lettings
Edinburgh Property Rental Market Shaken Up By Covid-19
City lets have just issued its 2020 Quarter 1 report. What a read it is! The data gathered confirms huge and instant changes – affecting both supply and demand for rental properties and flats in Edinburgh. With lockdown introduced on 23.03.2020 and certain sectors of the economy put on hold the week before, it is reasonable to suspect that the next report (Q2 2020), will show what really happened to the market when the entire UK ground to a standstill.
Edinburgh: Avalanche of Ex-short Term Lets
According to the City lets 2020 Q1 report, in March 2020 supply of Edinburgh’s available rental property rose by staggering 66%. It is a shocking rise – which is easily explained by the evaporation of the short term / holiday / Airbnb rental market. All Edinburgh landlords who had bet solely on tourists had the proverbial ‘rug pulled from under their feet’ on 23.03.2020. The first two months of 2020, and even the first week of March were quite busy – with average rent rising to £1142 pcm. This masks the market dip in late March when lockdown was enforced.
Source: Citylets 2020 Q1 report
Edinburgh Letting Centre expects to see significantly longer time to let in the 2nd quarter of 2020 – and slightly lower average rents than a year ago.
Edinburgh Average Rents in Long Term Sector
|No. of beds||Average |
|Annual rent |
|Time to Let (TTL), |
The impact of Covid-19 on HMOs
- Significant numbers of students informed us in April about their intent to leave in May.
- The proportion of students leaving HMO properties was only slightly higher than in 2019 (Private Residential Tenancy allows tenants to leave their property giving 28 days at any time).
- What dramatically changed is that immediate demand for empty HMO properties has dropped.