AVERAGE monthly rents in Scotland have rocketed by an inflation-busting 22% in just eight years, the latest figures show.

The 21.6% rise faced by private sector tenants since 2010 is revealed in a new Scottish Government report.

It applies to two-bedroom properties – the most common in the private rental sector.

The UK Consumer Price Index has jumped by the lower rate of 18.7% over the same period.

Average monthly charges for those in two-bed properties now stand at £652.

But the paper, released yesterday, shows massive regional price variation, with households in the Lothian area experiencing a massive hike of 42.3% to £946.

And a 31.3% shift in Greater Glasgow has taken payments there to £740.

It states: “Average rents have increased above the rate of inflation between 2010 and 2018 across all property sizes in both Lothian and Greater Glasgow.”

Those in Dumfries and Galloway pay the lowest monthly rents of £461 after a 6.1% increase.

And in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, where high demand based on the North Sea workforce has helped drive prices up, recent turbulence in the oil and

gas sector has created similar disruption in the property and lettings markets.

The change there is the smallest recorded at 1.7% , though that figure conceals larger spikes over the eight-year period and rents remain higher than many other regions at £654.

The paper states: “The private rented sector is very complex and is continually changing as it reacts to market forces.”

While home ownership has remained relatively unchanged since 2006 at 1.5 million, the private rental sector has boomed during this time, with 393,000 properties now let by landlords. More than one seventh of all the country’s homes are within this sector.

In the last year alone, charges have increased in all but three of Scotland’s 18 broad rental market areas, based on prices for two-bedroom properties.

This varies across the country from 6.5% in Lothian to 0.3% in Perth and Kinross, with a 4.1% dip in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Earlier this month, Adrian Sangster of Aberdein Considine estate agents, pictured, far left, said: “In the north of Scotland, we are continuing to experience a market where stock is not an issue, whilst, in the south, there is insufficient availability of properties to meet tenant demand.

“This is resulting in the almost inevitable increase of rent values in the south, compared to the continued reduction in the north.”