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Investors could help fill the shortage of private rental properties in Scotland, which desperately needs new supply.

According to DJ Alexander, now part of the Lomond Group, Scotland’s private rental market faces significant shortages as the economy recovers and job vacancies rise. He said Scotland’s economic recovery is accelerating rapidly, leading to a growing demand for workers. Yesterday, for example, the ONS reported that vacancies hit a record high between October and December in the first data to be released, ruling out the impact of the furlough scheme.

DJ Alexander believes this demand for workers “will surely trigger the return of many EU citizens and, perhaps from further afield, to meet the need for people to fill these positions in the months to come”. He added that the economy needs more people to meet this job demand to ensure growth continues at pace.

However, the company says an influx of workers is requiring accommodation and the private rental sector is already facing significant shortages in Scotland. Rightmove, for example, currently shows just 376 properties available to rent in Edinburgh. In August last year, that figure was just over 600, but it hit 1,900 as late as June last year.

David Alexander, managing director of DJ Alexander Scotland, explained: “We are seeing unusually high levels of demand for rental properties in Edinburgh and elsewhere. Our business would normally have around 190-200 properties available at any one time, however we currently only have 43. Inquiries continue to be at record levels and while we have new properties coming to market every day there are few signs of the demand diminishing.

He added: “It is now clear that we are coming out of the pandemic and life is starting to return to normal. This will undoubtedly lead to a substantial increase in demand for rental properties as more workers return from other parts of the UK and overseas.

Alexander continued: “With major events such as Six Nations rugby, the Open golf tournament, the Edinburgh Festival and regular concerts and shows returning this year, it is clear that a significant number of staff will be needed to fulfill the roles these events create. .”

“What we will see is the return of many European citizens who have the right to work in the UK and who will return, generating a huge demand in the private rental sector. Hundreds of thousands of people left as the pandemic took hold and I see no reason not to believe they will return as Covid-19 subsides in their home countries and the UK” , Alexander continued.

He believes this increase in demand will stretch the sector unless more owners/investors and more properties come to market.

“Many landlords left long-term rentals and moved to short-term and vacation rentals at the start of the pandemic. This could be the time to come back when demand exceeds supply and we face a severe shortage of suitable goods in parts of Scotland,” said Alexander.

“Despite these very real concerns about too few rental units, the overall trend is welcome as it points to a clear sign that the market and the wider economy are getting back to normal and we should all be part of it. grateful.”