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Rents in Scotland rising faster than most in UK

Buy to let rent rises in Scotland are outstripping most of the rest of the country, says new data.

Tenants in Scotland are paying an extra 3.3% compared with a year ago, according to a study by buy to let referencing firm Homelet. The average tenant in Scotland pays £651 a month to rent a home - slightly down (-0.2%) from June but £22 more than the average monthly rent in July 2017. Rents in Scotland are matched only by London and beaten by Northern Ireland, which has seen a 4.5% year-on-year increase, says the firm.

In comparison, average UK monthly rents were up 1.4% between June and July 2018. Despite the rise, renting costs in Scotland remain among the lowest in the country. The income to rent ratio - a measure of how much of household income goes towards housing costs - is 27.3% in Scotland.  The figure represents a 2.3% increase in the cost of rents from 25% a year ago.

Only North East England (23.6%) is less expensive. The ratio is the same as Scotland in Yorkshire & Humberside and more expensive everywhere else. The most expensive places to rent are in England - London (36.2%), the South West (33.8%) and Eastern England (33.1%). However, renting in London is 5.8% more expensive than 12 months ago, while tenants in the South West have seen housing costs rise 4.3%.

Rents in the UK rose by 1.3% in July compared to the same month a year ago; the average monthly rent now stands at £937 a month - £286 more than the average tenant in Scotland pays.