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Rural Rental Sector Strong In Scotland As Escape To The Country Continues

The rural rental sector has benefited from the trend towards countryside living since the lockdown lifted, according to property consultancy Galbraith. 

In addition to strong rural property sales, rural rentals have also increased over the last quarter compared with the same period last year. 

On average there are 12 tenant applications for every rental property managed by Galbraith. The average time taken to secure a tenant is just 14 days and some properties are not advertised at all due to the demand from waiting tenants. Rents are continuing to perform well across Scotland and may increase slightly over the next 12 months.

Susan Guthrie, lettings manager for Galbraith in the Scottish Borders said:

We have seen a real boom in lettings since the market re-opened. There has been a rethink for many people from urban areas to the countryside, to reap the benefits of outside space, tranquility and access to lovely areas for walking and cycling. Some buyers are from within the region while the majority are coming from other parts of the UK. Most of them will rent for a few months or a year and then buy a home. They are motivated to buy here due to the lifestyle on offer and the favourable price differential compared with other parts of the country.

The advantages of renting before committing to a purchase are twofold according to Galbraith. Firstly, the ability to act quickly when a suitable property comes up for sale and secondly the local knowledge that comes from already living in the area is invaluable.

Susan Guthrie continued:

If you know the local area it enables you to hone in on where you really want to live. You can check out the local schools online from London or elsewhere, but once you move to the area you really understand the finer points – where are the best places to walk your dog? which areas have the best views, the cosiest pub and where do other families live? These minor details make a huge difference to your quality of life.

Galbraith reports that since the market reopened there has been an increase in professional buy-to-let investment and also an increase in owners looking to change from offering a holiday let to a residential let, partly due to the new Covid-19 regulations and partly because of the security offered by  long term tenancy agreements.

In the Scottish Borders ten properties in the past two months have been converted from a holiday let to a residential tenancy agreement. This is something of a reversal from the trend in recent years where Scottish landlords have switched from residential tenancies to holiday lets, due to legislative changes.

Galbraith is one of the largest agents operating in the lettings sector in the north of England and Scotland, with expertise in 14 regions of the UK, from Elgin to Penrith.