Students push rents to record highs and voids to record lows in July | Goodlord Rental Index

1 August 2022

A jump in high-value student lets in July saw average rental costs and void periods break records, according to Goodlord's latest Rental Index.

It wasn’t just the weather running hot in July. According to Goodlord's latest Rental Index, a surge of high-value student lets saw average rental costs and void periods break records during July, as the lettings market continues to gather steam.

Student demand sees rents soar

Thanks to a higher than average demand for student lets, which included a range of high value properties being snapped up by student tenants, average rental prices in England rose by a huge 17.96% during July. This took the average cost up from £1,050 in June to £1,238.

This is the highest average ever recorded by the Index. Every region monitored saw an increase in the cost of rent.

The highest rise was seen in the North West, where prices jumped by a staggering 44%. Students renting in the region, which is home to a huge range of universities including Manchester and Liverpool, are behind the surge. Average costs in the North West are now £1,213, up from £838.

The next biggest jump was recorded in the South West - home to universities including Bristol, Bath and Exeter - with price averages increasing by 36%. This takes the average cost of a rental property in the region up from £1,130 to £1,539.

Despite still being the most expensive place to rent in England, Greater London saw the least movement in average costs during July. A small 3% rise was recorded, taking the average price up to £1,797 per property.

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Voids hit historic low

As well as the highest ever rental price averages, July also saw the Index’s lowest ever void rates. The average void period in England as a whole dropped by 41% in July - moving from 17 days to just 10 days on average. Every region monitored saw a significant reduction in voids.

Again, this was driven by a surge in demand for student lets, with the North West and the South West seeing the biggest proportional fall in voids. The lowest voids in England can now be found in the South West, at just 5 days.

The highest voids, at 17 days, are in the West Midlands. However, this is still down from 24 days in June, a drop of 29%.

Tenant salaries rise slightly

Average income for tenants rose very slightly during July - up by 1% to £29,637 per tenant (compared to £29,275 in June). The biggest salary shift was seen in the East Midlands, where tenant take-home pay rose by 15% - going up from £26,797 to £30,918.

Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, comments:

“Driven by a surge in high-value student lets, it’s been a staggering month for the market. The heatwave failed to cool demand and instead we’ve been seeing record high rents and record low voids. The lettings market is incredibly busy and demand shows no signs of abating this summer. Agents are working hard to ensure good quality homes stay in the rental market and tenant demand is met.”

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