Autumn slowdown: Void periods increase after summer boom in lettings

3 October 2019

Goodlord reveals key figures for the private rented sector in September 2019 based on tenancies processed through our platform, including average rents, tenancy lengths, voidage periods and more, in the Goodlord Rental Index.

The post-Tenant Fee Ban ‘summer bounce’ looks to be firmly in the past, shows the Goodlord Rental Index for September 2019.

Figures for September saw void periods increase across 7 out of the 8 regions monitored, with only London bucking the trend. 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 during the first quarter of 2019. 

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, up from 7 days in August.  In London, void periods reduced across the month, dropping from 14 days to just 11 in September. 

Overall, it took an average of 18 days to fill an empty property in the UK in September, up from just 11 days on average in August. The overall year-to-date average is 20 days.

The Rental Index also shows average rents in London jumping by 8% 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%) and the South East (up 12%). 

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

In the North East rent prices dropped by 17% - moving from a 2019 high of £897 in August to £745 last month. However, this was still higher than the year to date average for the region. 

Wales also recorded a significant decline, with rental costs decreasing by 15% from £780 to £662, the lowest average rental cost for the region 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 has most definitely come 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. As we move into the winter months (and continue to face uncertainty around Brexit), letting agents and landlords should do all they can to ensure their business models can withstand any forthcoming market fluctuations."

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