Average monthly rents with private landlords have risen in Dundee at twice the national average in the last year, a new report has revealed.
Published by Citylets, the report found average leases rose by 2.5% in Dundee for the period from April-June 2018, compared with the same period in 2017.
Across Scotland, the average rise in monthly rent was 1.3%.
According to those who let properties out, the market in Dundee is “buoyant and healthy”.
Allen Smith, co-director of local letting agency Sutherland Property Management, said there was a high demand for rented property in Dundee.
“Dundee is such a good city for renting properties in, as there are a lot of big employers, the two universities and plenty of people moving to the area,” he added.
“We never struggle to let out our properties. I would say there is a buoyant, healthy market.
“Properties in the West End and Broughty Ferry are picked up very quickly – but even in areas like Douglas and Fintry, where we have a handful of properties, they aren’t taking long to be picked up. There’s a good spread of demand across the city.”
The average private renter in Dundee now pays £618 a month – although this is heavily skewed by the average price of a four-bed property, which typically costs £1,140.
In one-bed and two-bed flats, which make up about 60% of the city’s private housing market, average rents are about £426 and £587, respectively.
Robert Murray, of Lickley Proctor Lettings on Bell Street, said private rent levels in the city were “relatively consistent”.
One-bed rents have risen quicker than any other type of property in the last year, with rents rising by 4.9% in 12 months.
But in the long term, they are cheaper than ever, with average costs down 14.8% compared with a decade ago.
Gillian Semmler, of Citylets, said: “The local market has seen an incline in average rents which will give landlords confidence.
“Tenants will be experiencing slightly more competition when finding larger accommodation, particularly with higher end properties.”
However, those searching for properties may be inclined to disagree that the market is performing well. From a tenant’s perspective, it is harder to penetrate than ever.
Adam Lang, of housing charity Shelter Scotland, said almost half of the calls made to its helpline last year related to private lets, with the cost of renting a common issue.
“Rent increases above the rate of inflation set against a background of stagnant wages, zero hours contracts and harsh welfare reforms make it even harder for people on the lowest incomes who are already struggling to make ends meet,” Mr Lang said.
“The new private residential tenancy agreement which came into force last December is designed to help keep rent rises predictable and affordable and only once a year.
“What Dundee and Scotland really need is enough social and affordable homes to be built, of the right type and in places where people want to live to take the heat out of our broken housing system.”
Mr Smith said that Sutherland was coping well with the new tenancy agreement.
“The old agreement was not fit for purpose. The market was very different when that agreement was new,” he said.
“So far in the first months, our tenants have been delighted with them.”