Void periods at record low in August, while average rents increased

Void periods in the private rented sector dropped to record lows across the UK in August, taking the average to just 11 days, the latest industry rental report has found.

The shortest average void periods were recorded in the South West, where it took just five days to fill a vacant property in August, eclipsing the region’s previous year to date low of nine days, according to the report from property technology company Goodlord.

It says that this was despite a big spike in average monthly rents in the South West, with costs in the region jumping up by 20% to £1,126, up from £942 in July. Last month’s figures were well above the South West year-to-date average rental cost of £938.

The North East also experienced record low void periods in August, dropping to just seven days on average. The longest void period was in the West Midlands where it took 15 days to fill a vacant property in August, but still well below the year to date average for the region of 24 days.

However, during the same period, rents increased in all but one of the eight regions monitored by Goodlord, taking the average rent to a year to date high of £1,031.

London continued to have the highest average monthly rent in August at £1,684, an increase of 5% on the previous month. The lowest average monthly rent was in the West Midlands at £722, an increase of 2% on the previous month.

Three regions showed double digit percentage increases on the previous month with rent in the North East up 36%, the South West up 20% and the East Midlands up 16%.

‘August is always a busy month for the industry and these numbers demonstrate a rising demand for high-quality rental properties across the UK. Void periods were at year to date lows across almost every region, something which will be welcomed by landlords and agents alike as the industry finds equilibrium following the tenant fee ban,’ said Tom Mundy, chief operating officer at Goodlord.

‘We’ve also seen big jumps in average rental costs throughout a range of regions, demonstrating the release of pent up demand amongst tenants and a slew of higher value properties hitting the market as more home owners look to the rental market against a backdrop of stagnant property prices,’ he added.