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Rents down and voids up across the country in recent weeks

3 November 2020 | Renting

A market snapshot produced by PropTech firm Goodlord shows rents dropping a hefty nine per cent across the UK.

This follows several months of buoyancy for the lettings market fuelled by post-lockdown demand.

Goodlord says there was a markedly steep drop in the South West of England, which saw a 26 per cent reduction in average rent. However, this region’s market is regarded as highly seasonal – in 2019 there was a 19 per cent fall at the same time of year.

Big shifts were also recorded this month in the North East – which saw a 16 per cent drop – and the South East, where rents fell 12 per cent during October.

All other regions saw reductions between two and six per cent in the past month. 

However, such was the strength of the increase in rents over the summer in particular, the year-on-year position is that average rents across the UK as a whole are 1.4 per cent higher than this time last year. 

The average cost of rent is now £938 across all UK regions, compared to £925 in October 2019.

As rents went down, voids went up. The UK average rose from 19 days in September to 23 days in October, with all regions seeing an increase. 

This UK average is now at the same level as we saw in June 2020, following several months of below average voids. 

Unsurprisingly, the biggest jumps in voids correlated with the regions that saw the biggest shift in rental prices, namely: the North East, South East, and South West.  

The highest void periods can now be found in the South West, at 27 days. This is closely followed by the West Midlands where the average crept up to 26 days.

“The seasonal cool off is now in full effect, as we can see from some of the more sizable changes in rental and voidage averages this month. However, when contextualised against the year on year data, we can see that this time of year is typically characterised by a dip in rent and an uptick in void periods” explains Goodlord chief operating officer Tom Mundy.

“Overall, the cost of rent this October was slightly up on last year’s figures. This shows that, despite the ongoing uncertainties across the UK economy, the rental market is reflecting its typical seasonal patterns whilst steadily gaining in strength, demonstrating its resilience despite a tumultuous year to date.” 

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.