The latest Goodlord Rental Index has shown an encouraging decline in void rates during February. However, rents proved as expected for the season and dipped slightly across all but three regions monitored.
Void periods dropped slightly compared to January, with the UK average standing at 19 days, down from 20.
Greater London saw the biggest drop, with void periods decreasing from 15 days to just 10 during February. Elsewhere, the North West, South East, South West, and West Midlands saw a drop in their void averages.
It was a different picture for the East Midlands. Despite seeing an encouraging drop in voidage during January to 19 days, the numbers jumped up again in February, taking the East Midlands average to 27.
The North East also saw an increase, although more modest. Void periods in the region inched up from 22 days to 24 days.
February is traditionally a slower month for rent rises and this year has proved no exception. The UK average cost of rent dipped from £875 per month to £864 during February, although the decline for most regions sat between 1 and 2%.
Three regions bucked the trend. The South East and the Midlands saw a 1% increase in average rental costs, with prices going up by 2% in the South West.
Elsewhere, prices in Greater London dipped by 2%, with the East Midlands and the North East seeing numbers drop by a marginal 1% on average. The biggest change was seen in the North West, where average rental costs dropped from £715 in January to £687 in February - a 4% change.
The average renter now earns £24,934 across the UK as a whole - an increase on January’s average. They are also slightly older; the average age of a UK renter is now 34.
Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, comments:
“February is traditionally one of the quietest months of the year for lettings, which means these figures are aligned with our expectations for this period. It’s a good opportunity for letting agents to take stock of the systems they have in place and make sure they’re not only prepared for an increase in volumes as we head towards summer, but also upcoming legislation changes that will increase administration, such as the new electrical safety standards regulations.”