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Rental Market Enjoys Warm December

rents grow

The rental market has returned surprisingly strong figures for December, despite the impact the Christmas holidays can traditionally have on lettings. According to the latest Rental Index from Goodlord, voids held steady month on month and rental prices also stood firm during December, as the strong demand for lets continues across the country.

Voids sticky at 18 days on average

The average void period for a rental property in England remained at 18 days during December, the same as the average figure recorded for November.

There was some more variation in the individual regions. High demand for available properties in the South West saw a 21% drop in voids last month, with averages moving from 23 days to just 18. The West Midlands also enjoyed a reduction in voids, falling from 21 days to 16 – a drop of 23%.

Demand was more subdued in the East Midlands, however. Voids jumped from 16 days in November to 22 days in December – a sharp increase of 37%. Greater London, which was gripped early by the Omicron crisis, also reported a slow down. Voids in the Capital increased by 23%, from 13 days to 16.

The South East, North West, and North East saw voids saw minimal shifts of between 0 and 1 days in their void averages.

Rent hold up throughout December

Encouragingly for the sector, rents also held firm throughout December. The average cost of a property in England even rose slightly compared to November prices, rising from £980 to £985.

Rents were steady across every region monitored. The highest shift was seen in Greater London, which recorded a slight rise in prices of 2.2%. The biggest drop was seen in the South East, where prices reduced by 1.5% during December.

The highest rental price averages are still found in Greater London (£1,671) and the lowest in the North East (£716).

Tenant demographics

Tenant salaries were also steady month on month, moving from £26,819 in November to £26,794 in December, a difference of just £25. The average age of a tenant remains 34 years, unchanged since August 2021.

Tom Mundy, COO of Goodlord, comments: “We normally predict a cooling of activity in December, as less people are looking to move during the holidays, so these numbers are very interesting. Demand and costs remained virtually unmoved compared to November. It’s a strong indicator of just how hot the lettings market is right now. Competition for properties is high and tenants are securing them as soon as they can. All signs point to a very busy year for agents and all agents should be preparing accordingly if they want to capitalise on the ongoing demand.”