Void periods hold steady but rents dip in January rental market

6 February 2020

Goodlord reveals key figures for the private rented sector in January 2020 based on tenancies processed through our platform, including average rents, tenancy lengths, voidage periods and more, in the Goodlord Rental Index.

The rental market experienced a steady month in January as it worked to pick up the pace after the Christmas slowdown, according to the latest Goodlord Rental Index. Average prices increased in four out of the eight regions monitored compared to December, but there was an overall drop in the average UK rental cost. It was also a mixed picture for void periods; the average held steady compared to December, but four regions saw an increase in void periods. 

Rental prices

It was positive news for rental prices in Greater London, the North East, North West, and South Each, where prices either held steady or saw a modest increase during January. The North West saw the biggest shift, with average prices rising by 5%. 

However, it was a different picture in the East Midlands, West Midlands, the South West, and Wales, where the average cost of rent was down compared to December. 

Overall, the UK average rental cost dropped from £902 to £874, demonstrating a sluggish start to the year for the market. 

Void periods

Across the UK, the average rate of voidage held steady at 20 days - the same rate as December. Only four of the regions monitored saw an increase in void periods during January. 

The East Midlands saw the biggest improvement, with rates moving from 23 days down to 19 days. The North West and the North East also saw void rates drop. 

Greater London saw the biggest shift in the other direction, with void rates creeping up from 12 to 15 days. The West Midlands, the South West and the South East also saw an increase. 

Renter demographics

The South West takes the lead for having the oldest renters - with an average of 35 years. The youngest renters can be found in the North West, with an average age of 32 years. 

London renters earned an average of £37,617.30 during January, topping the tables. The lowest salaries were found in the North East, where take home pay was £19,383.63 on average. 

Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, comments:

“Whilst it’s encouraging to see void periods hold steady across winter, landlords and agents will be hoping the dip in average rental costs is simply a hangover from the Christmas season. We would normally expect rental averages to hit their lowest levels between December and February, so this isn’t unexpected - we should start to see stronger metrics in the not too distant future.”

Further reading