In Scotland rents grew the most in Highlands and Islands with average rents growing by 13.3% in the year to August, leaving the average rent in the region at £684.
This now makes it the most expensive place to rent in all of Scotland, overtaking the Edinburgh and Lothians region. There, the average rent grew more modestly, rising by 2.4% in the last year. The average rent in the capital and surrounding area now stands at £682.
Brian Moran, lettings director, Your Move Scotland, said: “Following increased demand and strong price growth, the Highlands and Islands became the most expensive place to rent a property in Scotland this month.
“It displaced Edinburgh and Lothians as the highest priced region, although this area also experienced solid growth.
“Overall the Scottish rental market is flat compared to last year, but improving tenant finances will be music to the ears of landlords.
“Property investors continue to see yields which are better than the majority of regions in England and Wales.”
The Scottish rental market remains in good shape, with the average rent the same as a year ago, Your Move Scotland found.
Rents fell marginally – by 0.1% – compared to August 2017, leaving the average rent at £572 (seasonally adjusted). On a non-seasonally adjusted basis the average rent this month was £573.
Three of the five Scottish regions posted rent rises in the last 12 months – the Highlands and Islands, Glasgow and Clyde, and Edinburgh and Lothians regions.
The third region to post a rise was the Glasgow and Clyde area, where tenants saw their rents rise by 9.5% in the last 12 months to reach £602.
Rents in the South of Scotland fell by 4.1% in the last year, dropping to £542, while in the East property prices dropped by 2.4% to hit £527. The East was once again the cheapest region to rent a property in Scotland.
When all areas are considered, the average rent fell by 0.1%, reflecting these variations between regions. On a seasonally adjusted basis the average rent in Scotland was £572 this month.
The average Scottish rental property returned 4.7% to investors in August. This is the same as a month ago but lower than the 4.9% recorded in August 2017.
Despite the annual decline, the returns enjoyed by landlords in Scotland continues to compare favourably to the returns achieved in England and Wales.
Across both nations the average yield was 4.4% this month. The individual regions of England to post stronger returns than the Scottish average during August were the North East (5%) and North West (4.8%). Arrears rate falls in August.
There was a gentle decrease in the proportion of tenancies in arrears in August with some 10.3% of all tenancies being in some form of financial difficulty, down on the 10.7% recorded in July.
On an absolute basis, the number of households in serious arrears – defined as two months or more – was 10,416 in the month.