Rents fall and voids cool as market settles ahead of winter - Goodlord Rental Index

2 November 2021

The average cost of rent dipped by an average of 8.9% compared to September prices in October, while voids hit the highest averages recorded since May, in Goodlord's latest Rental Index.

Following several months of rising rents and falling voids, the latest Rental Index from Goodlord shows that the pace of the market may be cooling as lettings head into winter, but that year-on-year demand remains very high in comparison to 2020 figures.

Rents dip across the board but remain up year on year

The average cost of rent fell in all regions monitored by Goodlord during October, dipping by an average of 8.9% when compared to September prices. The average cost of a property in England was £1,006 per month in October, compared to £1,104 the previous month.

The South West saw the biggest decrease in the cost of rent, recording a 16% reduction. This was followed by a 14% fall in the South East and 11% in the North West. Greater London, the North East, East Midlands and West Midlands recorded reductions of between 4-6%.

However, these decreases followed a string of higher than average rental prices between July and September. The October average remains higher than figures recorded for May and June 2021.

In addition, year-on-year rental prices are 7.2% higher than 2020 averages.

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Voids rise but still beat 2020 averages

Voids hit the highest averages recorded since May, rising to an average of 19 days during October. This is up from September’s average of 17 days.

There was a big shift in the North East where, after 4 months of historically low voids, numbers returned to more predictable levels. The region recorded an average void period of 20 days in October, up from 11 the previous month. The East Midlands, Greater London, and the South West also recorded a rise in void periods.

The South West held steady month-on-month at 17 days. The North West, however, saw a drop in voids from 25 days to 18 days, and the West Midlands also saw a decrease; 21 days down to 19.

Year-on-year, voids are currently 17% lower than 2020 averages, demonstrating the ongoing strength of the market in 2021 so far.

Tom Mundy, COO of Goodlord, comments:

“We’ve witnessed huge market demand in 2021 so far and I’m not surprised that void periods are still lower than those recorded in 2020 and that average rents are much higher too. We’ve definitely seen a slight cooling of demand this month, as is to be expected following the summer surge from renters and early autumn demand from students. But this cooling should be taken with a pinch of salt as the year-on-year figures clearly show that the lettings sector is continuing to experience consistently high demand across England.”

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