Demand for rented homes high despite Brexit

By Terry Murden, Editor. Demand for rental property from workers coming into Scotland is showing no signs of slowing, despite expectations following the EU referendum.

Residential agency, DJ Alexander Lettings, which boasts 25%of all agency lettings in Edinburgh, says the city has become a magnet for job-seekers from other parts of the UK and overseas.

During November, non-UK citizens made up 43% of the company’s tenant applicants, compared with 29% in October.

Rob Trotter, associate director, said: “Since we began recording the relevant statistics in the summer of 2015, applications for tenancies from non-UK citizens had been running at around 25 to 30% of the total and November was the first month in which these exceeded 40%.

“This shows that the much feared-about collapse in demand for rented property among other EU citizens following the Brexit vote has simply not happened.”

Visits to the company’s website are averaging 45,000 a month and during this last quarter of the year so far, visitors have been based in 167 countries.

Mr Trotter said this reflects Edinburgh’s buoyant economy, although the jobs being taken were more middle-market than high-end.

“This could mean there are fewer vacancies for executive positions ,or that executive employees moving to Edinburgh are not receiving the same accommodation ‘perks’ they once did,” he said.

The most popular average rental budget among new tenants in November was £500 to £999 per month, reflecting the popularity of one- or two-bedroom flats, which accounted for 85% of all new lettings.

Mr Trotter said that while the statistics were more focussed on Edinburgh, being the larger of DJ Alexander Lettings’ two operations, nevertheless the feedback from the Glasgow office was roughly similar.

Meanwhile the latest quarterly DJ Alexander Rental Tracker, covering September October and November, shows that in Edinburgh the average cost of new rentals of one- and two-bedroom flats were £802 and £1009 per month respectively and for Glasgow £631 and £820 per month.

The average cost for all new rentals during the period was £1035 in Edinburgh and £841 in Glasgow.

DAILY BUSINESS, 22 December 2016