Rents hit annual high despite voids edging up - Goodlord Rental Index

4 October 2021

The average cost of rent is at a year-to-date high of £1,104 per property in September, while voids increased compared to August, but are still 10.5% lower according to the year-on-year figures.

The latest Goodlord Rental Index shows that the average cost of rent in England has reached its highest level for 2021 so far, despite rents falling in some regions. Voids inched up compared to August, but remain much lower than annual averages. The data therefore points to a very slight cooling of demand during September compared to the lettings frenzy seen throughout the summer, but overall paints a picture of a much stronger rental market than seen at the same time last year. 

Cost of rent reaches year-to-date high

Despite several regions recording a decrease in the average cost of rent during September, the average cost of rent for England as a whole hit £1,104 - a year-to-date high for 2021. Overall, rents are now 6.94% higher than they were in September 2020. 

The North West saw a significant increase in the average cost of a rental property, with prices rising by 11% - from £807 to £901. London also recorded a 2.5% increase, taking the cost of a rental property in London from £1,725 to £1,770. The West Midlands recorded a 1.5% rise. 

However, the East Midlands, North East, South East and South West all recorded decreases in the cost of rent, ranging from 1% to 5%. 

Voids rise but averages stay low

After five months of diminishing void averages across England, September brought an end to this trend. There were increases in void periods in all regions monitored, with the exception of Greater London. However, the average void period across England is still only 17 days - lower than the averages recorded between January and May of this year. Overall, void periods remain 10.5% lower year on year.

The biggest jumps were seen in the North East and the North West. The North East recorded a 37.5% increase in the average void period, moving from 8 days in August to 11 days in September. Despite this, the region continues to have the lowest void periods overall - a title it has held for three consecutive months. 

The North West saw voids increase by 38%, taking averages from 18 days to 25 days. This makes it the region with the highest overall void periods.  Greater London saw void periods reduce from 13 days to 12, the only reduction recorded. 

Renter salaries and ages rise

The average income of an English renter also rose during September. Salaries jumped up from an average of £25,264 in August to £26,764 last month - an increase of 5.9%. 

The average age of an English renter has also increased, rising to 34 years old. This compares to the average renter in August, who was 32. 

Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, comments: “The year on year trends for the rental market are hugely encouraging. The void and rental averages in September 2021 compared to last year show just how strongly the market has rebounded. Rents are currently very high, on average, and void statistics continue to be lower than we’d expect, which sets the market in very good stead ahead of the winter months.”

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