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The UK investment property rental market remained stable in December, with average rents remaining close to levels recorded in November.
The latest Rental Index from Goodlord showed a stable rental market, that, though it continued to experience the traditional pre-Christmas slowdown, void periods across the UK proved more encouraging.
Average Rents Stable
Five out of the eight regions monitored by Goodlord saw rents remain at November levels or dip slightly. The largest decrease was recorded in the North East, where average prices dropped by 3 per cent – from £607 to £588.
Marginal rises were recorded in Greater London (+2 per cent), the North West (+3 per cent) and Wales (+3 per cent).
The average cost of a rental property across the whole of the UK was £902 in December. This compares with a 2019 annual average of £927 per property, per month.
Average Void Periods
It was a healthier month for void periods during December, with the average UK void period dropping from 24 to 19 days. This compares to an annual average for 2019 of 20 days.
All regions monitored saw a slight decrease in void periods with the exception of the South West, which saw averages increase from 17 to 19 days. The South East saw a fairly sizeable drop compared to November, with void periods dropping from 28 days to just 21.
The average age of UK renters held stable at 34 years for the third month in a row, ending the year slightly higher than the 2019 annual average of 33.
The average income of tenants increased slightly in December, increasing from £22,726 in November to £23,615 in December.
London continues to be the most expensive place to rent in the UK, with the North East, Wales, and the Midlands the most affordable.
Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, commented: ‘Mid-November leading into December is traditionally quiet for the rental market, so these numbers are actually quite encouraging. Rent decreases were slight across most regions, alongside some modest increases, with other regions holding steady. Void periods were down in the majority of regions as tenants looked to finalise leases ahead of the Christmas break.’
He concluded: ‘We ended the year sitting slightly higher than 2019 averages on some key metrics – an encouraging note to round off what has been a seismic year for the industry.’