Void periods on the rise as market slumps in September

A rental market slump in September has led to a rise in average void periods across many parts of England and Wales.

Goodlord’s latest Rental Index calculates the typical void period at 18 days during September, up from 11 the previous month.

The overall year-to-date average void period now stands at 20 days.

Seven of eight regions across England and Wales monitored by the index saw void periods increase last month, with only London bucking the trend.

Voids in the capital dropped from an average of 14 days in August to just 11 during September.

One of the longest average void periods was recorded in the West Midlands at 34 days, more than doubling from 15 days during August.

The shortest voids last month were recorded in the North East, where it took just 10 days to fill an empty property, albeit up from an average of seven recorded in August.

Goodlord says the ‘post-tenant fee ban summer bounce’ is now ‘firmly in the past’ as heightened tenant activity has come to an end.

The index also looks at average rents and found that the monthly cost of a rental property in the capital shot up from £1,684 to £1,820 between August and September, a rise of 8%.

Meanwhile, significant rent increases were also recorded in the South East and West Midlands at 12% and 8% respectively.

There was a huge drop in rent prices in the North East, with the monthly average payment falling from £897 in August to £745 last month (-17%).

Monthly dips were also recorded in Wales (-15%), the South West (-3%) and the North West (-5%).

“The trends seen throughout the summer were characterised by very low void periods and an uptick in average rents,” says Tom Mundy, Goodlord’s chief operating officer.

He said average void periods are now similar to the same levels recorded during the first quarter of the year, while rent prices remain ‘jumpy’.

“As we move into the winter months, letting agents and landlords should do all they can to ensure their business models can withstand any forthcoming market fluctuations,” says Mundy.

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