A mortgage shortage is pushing up rents although the pace of growth is slowing, according to surveyors in Scotland.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said in the last three months ten per cent of surveyors it questioned said rents had increased.
This shows a slowdown on the last survey, and RICS suggest that it meant that supply was catching up with demand.
The surveyors body said many buyers were struggling to find a mortgage or raise the money needed for a deposit, leading to many first-time buyers having to rent.
As a result it said 50% more chartered surveyors reported a rise in demand rather than a fall.
RCIS has revealed that the number of tenants relying on housing benefit from the government also increased.
Figures showed social lettings were at their highest level since records began in 1999, accounting to 12% of all new rentals – up from three per cent.
Graeme Hartley, RICS Scotland director, said: “The combination of strong tenant demand and an increase in the number of rental properties on the market has resulted in rents stabilising.
“With mortgage finance for first time buyers likely to remain in short supply for some time to come and an increase in new landlord instructions, demand and supply should be balanced in Scotland for the foreseeable future.”