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24 February 2016, 07:16
Rents in parts of Scotland soared by more than 6% in the past year - the fastest rise on record, according to a new report.
Average monthly rent in Edinburgh and the Lothians jumped by £38 (6.4%) to £642 in January compared to the previous year, nearly three times quicker than average rent growth in the rest of the country, the latest Scotland buy-to-let index found.
The rise comes as rents in south Scotland increased by £29 (6%) in the same period while the Highlands and Islands rose by 3.7%, Glasgow and Clyde recorded an 0.2% drop and East Scotland fell by 1.7%.
Across Scotland, the average residential rent stands at £548 per month as of January, just £1 shy of the historic record set in July 2015.
Average rents throughout the country climbed 2.3% in the year to January 2016, equal to £12 in absolute terms.
Despite an average rent rise, the Your Move index found Scottish tenants are paying off late rent as household finances improve.
The report notes late rent across Scotland in January fell to 11.1% of all rent due in the month - the lowest level since July 2015.
Slower house price growth is hampering landlords' returns, which fell to 5.8% in the year to January.
Brian Moran, lettings director at Your Move Scotland, said: "In different parts of Scotland, powerful interplays between supply and demand are shaping the regional rent patterns that are emerging.
"In popular cities like Edinburgh - where the jobs market is hottest - the competition to find homes means tenants have to act quickly.
"As a result, we're seeing exceptional rent growth in some parts of the country - while in others, lettings-market activity is much calmer.
"Encouragingly, the latest rent rises are underpinned by good news. We should also be looking at tenants' bottom line. Arrears are falling - which speaks volumes for affordability right now.''