Rent Scotland: What are the average rents in Scotland? Which areas, including Lothian, Greater Glasgow, and Dumfries and Galloway, are the least or most expensive?

Critics have called the rent increases across Scotland ‘shocking’

The average private sector rent for a two-bedroom property in Scotland has increased by more than £100 per month in a single year, new figures have revealed.

Lothian had the highest average monthly two-bed rent, at £1,192, while Dumfries and Galloway had the lowest (£487). Since 2010, Lothian and Greater Glasgow have seen increases in average rents above the rate of inflation between 2010 and 2023 across all property sizes.

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Scottish Labour’s housing spokesman Mark Griffin said the “shocking increases lay bare the perilous state of Scotland’s housing sector”.

Average rents are highest in EdinburghAverage rents are highest in Edinburgh
Average rents are highest in Edinburgh

He said: “Private rents have risen year on year, wages have stagnated and the cost of living continues to bite. Scots are being forced to spend more and more of their hard-earned income just to have somewhere to live – and this is not good enough.”

The new figures are based predominantly on advertised rents, and so do not reflect the rent cap restrictions introduced last year, which apply only to existing tenants.

Average rents for two-bed properties – the most common type in the private rented sector – increased by 14.3 per cent in the 12 months to the end of September, to reach an average of £841 per month – up £105 per month compared with the previous year. In Lothian, rents rose by an average of £186 per month, while in Greater Glasgow they increased by £192.

Rents in the two-bed category increased in all 18 broad rental market areas of Scotland compared with the previous year. Increases in 11 of these areas were above the average 12-month UK CPI inflation rate of 9 per cent, ranging from 9.6 per cent (or £59 per month) for South Lanarkshire up to 22.3 per cent (or £191 per month) in Greater Glasgow.

The lowest increases were seen in Dumfries and Galloway (1.5 per cent or £7 per month), West Lothian (2.3 per cent or £16 per month), Perth and Kinross (2.8 per cent or £18 per month) and the Highland and islands (3 per cent or £19 per month).

Average rents increased in Scotland across all property size categories, with increases of:

  • 11.7 per cent or £68 per month for one-bedroom properties, reaching £648 per month;
  • 14.3 per cent or £105 per month for two-bedroom properties, reaching £841 per month;
  • 13.3 per cent or £121 per month for three-bedroom properties, reaching £1,026 per month;
  • 13.4 per cent or £196 per month for four-bedroom properties, reaching £1,656 per month;
  • 15.1 per cent or £64 per month for one-bedroom shared properties, reaching £490 per month.

Patrick Harvie, Scotland’s tenants’ rights minister, said: “These statistics show how rents charged by private landlords in Scotland have been rising for more than a decade, and they are yet more evidence of the importance of action to make rents more affordable.

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“There is no one solution to addressing rent affordability and our work to introduce long-term rent controls as part of the next Housing Bill is one measure being taken forward. This is alongside increasing the supply of affordable housing and our successful action to press the UK Government to increase Local Housing Allowance rates announced last week.

“Our temporary emergency legislation in response to the cost-of-living crisis has also provided tenants with much needed stability at a time when rents have been increasing across the UK. This includes a 3 per cent rent cap in most cases and a temporary pause on the enforcement of evictions.

"Only in Scotland have tenants had this protection during a tenancy. This rent cap applies only within existing tenancies, so is not reflected in these statistics which are based on newly advertised rents.”

Scottish Tory housing spokesman Miles Briggs said the increases were “the entirely predictable result of the SNP-Green Government’s imposition of a rent cap, and their long-standing failure to tackle the shortage of housing stock”.

He said: “If landlords are prevented from raising rent gradually in line with inflation, it’s inevitable that there will be eye-watering jumps of this kind. Rises of 14 per cent are sure to mean that people will be priced out of areas like Lothian and Glasgow, with terrible implications for the wider economy. It’s clear this policy has – as many people warned it would be – totally counterproductive, and it should be dropped as soon as possible.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: "Households are seeing a greater and greater proportion of their income eaten up by rent. A lack of availability, skyrocketing prices and poor quality housing are all playing a part in making life miserable for far too many.

"Scotland needs to build more homes of every kind and re-establish social renting as a viable option."



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