It is undeniable that Edinburgh is a rental hot spot.
A home in the right area can be snapped up within a matter of days – hours even – of being available to let. With certain postcodes being incredibly sought-after, demand is also high at particular times of the year, such as school enrolment when parents are keen to ensure their children secure a place within the catchment area.
While renters help fuel the market, it needs a constant supply of high-quality stock courtesy of landlords. The days of dingy carpets, peeling wallpaper and mouldy floorboards, like those offered by rogue landlord Rigsby in Rising Damp, are not acceptable in this day and age to savvy tenants.
Until the time comes for them to begin paying a mortgage on their own property, or their career takes them to another part of the country, many of today’s tenants are looking for plush pads where they can put down their roots for a while.
A striking example is the recently completed rental apartments at 34 Hamilton Place (pictured) in the Stockbridge area. Designed and developed by Chris Stewart Group, the apartments feature a cinema room in one, a swish mezzanine bed deck in another, and a stunning panoramic roof terrace in a third. Cleverly styled, this leap in the standard of rental properties and the seismic shift in perception of what they should look like may be something other landlords will be keen to implement down the line after these properties were snapped up by eager tenants.
The two L’s - looks and location – are top of tenants’ minds when choosing a home. For landlords who take this into consideration, investing in bricks and mortar in the hope of obtaining good yields or good capital growth, Edinburgh is a safe bet.
The inaugural Braemore Index, which surveyed more than 450 landlords across a number of issues, revealed landlord confidence in the long term potential of Edinburgh’s property market, with the majority of investors (84%) stating that they see their rental properties as long term investments.
The current rental market in Edinburgh is strong with the majority (83%) of landlords confident in the rental potential over the next 12 months. That confidence only dips slightly over three to five years (78%) and over 10 years (75%). Only 13% of investors felt that they have some anxiety over the short term strength of the property market, which is encouraging.
A high proportion of investors agree (73%) that property is always a safe investment in the long term.
The independent research questioned landlords with properties in the capital. Of the respondents, 30% lived in Edinburgh and only 1% referred to themselves as full time property developers. Over two thirds of landlords owned only one or two properties and the age range of landlords was evenly spread from 35 to over 65 and between male and female.
Crucially, the vast majority of those who gave a reason for becoming a landlord stated that it was a proactive decision (77%), with only (12%) claiming to be ‘reluctant’ landlords because they were unable to sell their property.
Seeing in black and white the large spread in terms of gender, age, working status and property ownership is fascinating.
The reasons for becoming a landlord were hugely varied but the common thread was an acceptance of property as a long term investment, even when the levels of confidence in the costs associated with letting a property were relatively low.
Property investment is for everyone and that there is no stereotypical landlord. With so many properties owned by people outside the city, Edinburgh itself is clearly seen as a safe place to invest.
Malcolm Cannon, CEO Braemore, letting and estate agency