Rental voids plummet across much of the UK

After a relatively quiet December and January for the lettings market, February saw some much-needed momentum return to help generate stronger rents and a significant fall in rental voids.

This is according to market analysis from Goodlord which suggested that strong demand among tenants saw the average void period for a rental property in England drop by 26% in February – from 23 to 17 days. The biggest changes were seen in the North West, where voids went from 27 days in January to just 18 days in February – a steep drop of a third (33%).

The East Midlands also recorded a decrease of more than 30% – with void periods in the region going from 29 days to just 20, representing a 31% reduction. Greater London, the North East, South East and the West Midlands all saw voids reduce by more than 20%. The smallest change was recorded in the South West, where voids decreased from 21 days to 19 days – a 9.5% decrease.

Rents were reported to have risen across most English regions during February, taking the average cost of a rental home to £1,089.04 – an increase of 1% on January’s figures. To maintain some perspective, this is still far below figures from last year, when prices peaked in September 2022 at a record £1,249.81 per property. However, February’s figures do represent the highest rental averages recorded since October 2022.

Looking at this regionally, the biggest increase in the average cost of rent during February was seen in the North East, where prices rose by 3%. In contrast, both Greater London and the South West saw fractional decreases in the cost of rent. Year on year, the cost of rent is now suggested to be up by 12.50%.

This fall in rental voids is music to the ears of landlords up and down the UK as this remains one of the biggest challenges which successful landlords need to overcome in order to maintain profitability. It also offers a clear indication of the lack of good quality rental homes that are coming onto the market and how quickly tenants are having to act to snap up these properties.

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