The cost of renting a home in Scotland has soared by almost 6% in a year and experts are warning that the trend will continue.
The crisis has been exacerbated by a lack of mortgage finance for potential buyers.
For a couple flitting from Skye to a secluded spot near Inverness the upheaval is almost over.
Amanda Nairne and her husband Alex are relieved to have found a new nest in the midst of a recession which has seen residential rent in Scotland rise at an alarming rate.
Mrs Nairne, who works as a teacher, said: “We have been very, very lucky. We have definitely fallen on our feet here.
“We certainly know of lots of people who are renting at the moment who have rented for a long time, who really struggle to find properties, and I think we were just in the right place at the right time.”
Experts warn to expect a similar increase in rent prices over the next twelve months.
John Gell, of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: “There’s nothing I can see that would suggest this is going to change dramatically in the next 12 months.
“I think if landlords opt to stay in the sector instead of selling, or if more people become landlords through buy to let, it will increase the supply and slacken the pressure on rents a bit.”
According to estate agents, the root of the problem is a scarcity of mortgage finance and a shortage of quality properties for tenants to move into.
Flora Badger, of CKD Galbraith, said: “The number of tenants actively looking for properties has increased. I can’t actually put a figure on it but certainly with the number of people not being able to get mortgages these days they’re obviously looking for rental properties whereas before – five or six years ago – they would have looked to buy a house.”
In the past decade, the proportion of Scots renting has steadily risen for some it is the preferred option but for others it is the only way to afford a roof over their heads and for all it is a simple economic reality that while demand remains at a peak, so will the squeeze on their finances.