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5 May 2016, 07:34
Rents in Scotland are rising faster than anywhere else in the the UK and the average cost is more than £700 a month, according to new figures.
Figures from the April Homelet Rental Index show the average private rent in Scotland rose 11.4% between April 2015 and last month.
The increase is more than double that of the average for rest of the UK (excluding Greater London), which rose by 5.1% in the same period.
The average rent in Scotland for new tenancies for the three months to March 2016 was £677 but by April this had hit #704 a month - a rise of 4%.
In comparison, the second-fastest increase was the North West region, which rose by 1.7% in the same period, while Greater London increased by 0.5% and Northern Ireland showed the fastest decrease at 0.7%.
The average cost of a month's rent in Scotland for the three months to April 2016 is higher than all but four of the 12 UK regions surveyed, behind Greater London (£1,539) , South East (£963), South West (£891) and East Anglia (£809).
Private rented sector insurance provider HomeLet is part of the Barbon Insurance Group.
Martin Totty, chief executive officer of Barbon, said the private rental sector would "continue to be characterised by regional variations''.
He said: "Take, for example, the sharp increase registered in rents in Scotland in recent months - it will be fascinating to see whether this is a flash in the pan or something that may change over the longer term.''