Landlord Void Periods Up in the Private Rental Sector

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Void periods in the private rental sector increased during September, with the exception of London, according to the latest rental index from Goodlord.

Seven out of the eight regions monitored by the index showed void periods up, with the only exception being the capital, where void periods dropped from 14 days to just 11 days in September.

Elsewhere, void periods in the West Midlands more than doubled month on month, moving from 15 days in August to 34 in September, taking the region back to rates seen earlier this year.

The shortest void periods in September were recorded in the North East, where it took just 10 days to fill an empty property in September.

Average rents in London jumped by 8 per cent between August and September, taking the average rental cost for a property in the capital from £1,684 to £1,820 per month. Rental price increases were also recorded in the West Midlands (up 8 per cent) and the South East (up 12 per cent).

Elsewhere, the picture for average rents was mixed. The South West saw a modest decline of 3 per cent, with average rents in the North West dipping by 5 per cent. In the South East, landlords will welcome a 12 per cent increase in average rents.

The North East saw rent prices drop by 17 per cent – moving from a 2019 high of £897 in August to £745 last month. However, this was still higher than the region’s year-to-date average.

Wales also recorded a significant decline, with rental costs decreasing by 15 per cent from £780 to £662, the lowest average rental cost recorded across the whole of the UK during 2019 so far.

Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, commented: ‘The trends seen throughout the summer were characterised by very low void periods and an uptick in average rents. The figures for September show that this ‘summer bump’ for agents and landlords might be coming to an end. Void periods have ticked up again across nearly all regions, taking us back to levels seen in the first quarter of 2019, and average rent prices are proving jumpier as the market adjusts to new levels of demand.’

He concluded: ‘As we move into the winter months, letting agents and landlords should do all they can to ensure their business models can withstand any forthcoming market fluctuations.’

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