WEST Dunbartonshire is the cheapest place in mainland Scotland to buy a home – but rental rates in the area are rising faster than anywhere else in the country.

According to the latest figures from Walker Fraser Steele the average house price in the local authority area is £143,566, which is the second lowest of Scotland’s 32 council areas.

From September 2020 until September 2021, West Dunbartonshire house prices have increased by 8.8 per cent, according to the survey.

The latest average house price in the area compares to a figure of £93,061 for January-March 2011.

Only Na h-Eileanan Siar – the Western Isles – is cheaper than West Dunbartonshire in the latest figures.

Rental prices in West Dunbartonshire have risen by more than any other part of Scotland, according to newly-published figures.

In contrast, private sector rental statistics released by the Scottish Government last week showed that the cost of renting a two-bedroom property in the area had shot up by 7.1 per cent between September 2020 and September 2021.

That’s the steepest increase of any area in Scotland.

Ayrshire followed behind with an increase of 6.8 per cent for the same type of property.

The government’s rental figures show that average private rental prices have risen in all except one area in Scotland with 10 out of 18 areas that showed an increase above inflation of 1.5 per cent between September 2020 and 2021.

Tenants’ rights minister Patrick Harvie reiterated the Scottish Government’s commitment to implementing rent controls by 2025.

“We are aware that many tenants have been struggling financially as a result of the pandemic and that rising rent costs will only have exacerbated the problem, which is why we have provided £39 million to support tenants struggling at this time,” he said.

“The time is right to do more to support tenants in the private rented sector as we recover from the pandemic.

“We have already committed to tackling high rents by implementing an effective national system of rent controls by the end of 2025.

“Alongside our wider work to deliver a new deal for tenants, we will provide people with more secure, stable, affordable tenancies with improved standards of accommodation and more flexibility to personalise their homes.”