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Scottish Rental Market Slows


Signs of change ahead as as global financial sector woes and economic slowdown impact on the Scottish rental market, according to latest research by Scotland’s leading online lettings portal Citylets.

Edinburgh, United Kingdom, January 24, 2009 --(PR.com)-- Data collected over the last three months has shown that single-bedroom properties across Scotland are taking up to nine days longer to let than last year - suggesting that tenants are choosing to share and moving into larger flats in order to save money.

The latest Citylets quarterly report, which covered the period October-December 2008, revealed that one bed flats to rent in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen took between five and nine days longer to rent than during the same period in 2007.

Thomas Ashdown, Managing Director of Citylets, said that the trend was probably due to the economic downturn and unemployment fears among tenants ­ with many deciding to move into a bigger flat with their friends or workmates in order to save money.

He said: "This report suggests that, with the credit crunch still going strong, people are becoming fearful of their jobs and more protective of their money ­ which is why many are choosing to team up and rent larger homes with friends.

"By sharing the rent on a bigger property, they are paying less per month than they would have done on a one-bed flat. This means that they will have more disposable income, which they can use to save up for a deposit, pay off credit cards or as an emergency fund if the economy slumps further and their job is at risk.

Thomas added that the latest report has also recorded a growth in new properties coming onto the rental market, which he attributed to changing social factors.

He said: "There’s been a big increase in recent months from reluctant landlords ­ people who have moved house but have been unable or unwilling to sell their original properties at current offer prices and decided to rent them out instead. A number of developers have also found themselves in this boat.

"This, in addition to new client growth, meant that at the end of the year Citylets was marketing 68% more properties than at the end of 2007."

The Report shows that average rents in Scotland rose by 2.1% compared with October-December 2007, which is the slowest rate of growth for a year. The average time-to-let rose to 37 days, up two days from the same period in 2007, with 48% of all properties letting within a month.

Thomas added: "In the medium term, a recovery of the sales market looks unlikely and we suspect that rental stocks may rise further with supply outpacing demand ­ particularly if unemployment continues to rise.

"Increased choice for tenants has begun to impact on the length of time it takes to let a property. If this trend continues, established landlords could face longer void periods in the future than they have in recent years."

A copy of the report is attached or is available online at www.citylets.co.uk/reports/

www.citylets.co.uk was launched in 1999 and is Scotland’s most successful lettings portal.

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Contact Information
Citylets
Mark Regan
0131 4674867
Contact
www.citylets.co.uk

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