Voids reassuringly steady despite movement in rents - Goodlord Rental Index

6 October 2020

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

The latest Rental Index from Goodlord, which analyses over 20,000 UK tenancies each month, has shown a strong picture for the rental market as voids hold steady and rents only drop marginally across the UK. 

Voids stay steady across the UK

The average void period for the UK held steady at 20 days during September. Greater London, the North East, West Midlands and South West all saw small reductions in void periods. The quickest average void time can now be found in the North East - at just 12 days.

However, small increases in void periods were recorded in the East Midlands (increasing from 16 to 18 days), the North West (19 to 23 days) and the South East (13 to 16 days).

The longest voids can now be found in the West Midlands, which saw an average period of 25 days during September. However, rents in the West Midlands have held steady month on month, indicating that a longer wait for tenants is yet to materially affect rental prices.

Average rental costs drop across range of regions

Rents in the UK dropped slightly in six of the eight regions monitored by Goodlord. During September, the average rent for a UK property decreased from £997 to £985 - a 1% decrease overall.

The East Midlands saw the biggest change with a 5% dip in average prices, dropping from £935 per property in August to just £890 in September. The North East saw prices decrease by 4% and the South East was hit by a 3% drop in average rents.

However, it was a different picture in the North West and South West, where the average price of a rental property increased by 2% and 3% respectively. London remains the most expensive place to rent despite a 1% dip in prices this month - with an average cost per property of £1,693 a month - more than twice the cost of living in the UK’s cheapest region, Wales, where the average cost of rent is £654 per month.

Average tenant incomes

Despite strains on the job market, the average income for tenants barely shifted month on month. August’s average was £24,521 per tenant, with September’s figure shifting ever so slightly downwards to £24,490. The average age of UK tenants has also marginally increased; rising from 32 to 33 years old.

Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, commented:

“Despite new restrictions on people’s movements in various regions across the UK, the rental market is holding steady. In fact, the sector’s bounceback has been incredibly strong to date and demonstrates the resilience of the lettings market. The steadiness of void periods in particular is an encouraging sign of a market that has found its equilibrium after a year of extremes. As we head into winter, we’ll be keeping a keen eye on trends, but agents are heading into the coming months in robust shape.”

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