Rental voids edge up following hectic December

The pace at which rental properties are changing hands cooled slightly in January as the market hit a more reasonable pace following a flurry of activity throughout December, with all regions recording a rise in voids.

The average void period in England rose from 18 days in December to 20 days in January – a rise of 11%. Voids are, however, continuing to stay low compared to year-on-year figures – with voids in January 2022 down 16% compared to voids in January 2021, according to the latest rental index from Goodlord.

The South West saw the biggest increase in voids last month – jumping up from 18 days up to 26. There was also a big shift in the North West, where averages rose from 17 to 22 days.

More modest rises were seen in Greater London, the North East, and the South East. Each region saw void periods increase by one day on average.

In of rents across England, the average cost of renting rose during January by £993 per calendar month (pcm). This is up from an average of £985pcm in December and marks the highest rental averages recorded since October 2021.

The North East saw the biggest increase in average prices with a 3% rise – average costs in the region rose from £716 to £740. This was followed by a 2% increase in the cost of rent in both the East Midlands and the North West.

Slight decreases of between 0-1% in the average cost of rent were recorded in the South West and the West Midlands.

Average rents in Greater London are now £1,675 – 126% more expensive than in the North East, which has the lowest rents in the country.

Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, commented: “The pace of the market throughout the winter continues to surpass predictions. Rents are continuing to creep up as tenants compete for the best properties and, as inflation bites, the rising cost of rent is beginning to outstrip salary growth.

“We wouldn’t expect to see record-breaking low voids during January, particularly in light of the huge market activity seen in December, so the small increase in void averages we’re seeing this month isn’t unexpected. The overall market picture is still very strong compared to 2021; landlords won’t be struggling to find tenants over the coming months but the rising cost of living may start to affect certain regions sooner rather than later.”

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  1. Mrlondon52

    I’m calling BS on goodlord’s data. These average void figures are way too big to be reliable. Most well-run letting properties have under 5 days void a year if there is a change of tenancy or 0 days if the tenant stays. So the data must be skewed by properties which are open instructions on their client’s systems but either not on the market (but counted by goodlord) or on the market but not lettable, eg. building work is ongoing.

    They might say that we need to follow the trend of the data not the absolute figure; I would say that in their haste to try and be the authority on all things letting they’ve overlooked the common sense factor.

    So… 22 or 26 days is crazy. Voids changing that much in one month doesn’t make sense, unless they’re taking a rolling 12 month backview.

    If your average void per annum is 26 days you really need to sell your agency, retire or go and do something else. 26 days is utter failure.

    1. Andy Halstead

      This data does not apply to any agency that I know, and I know a few…………

  2. 10BarnesJo

    As an Agent in a duel office in the North West of England, I have to question the reliability of Goodlords data, we certainly haven’t seen an increase of void periods between the properties let and managed by ourselves. Our average void period definitely isn’t 22 days of the agents that I communicate with don’t report increasing voids either.

  3. GuyM

    I am not sure where Goodlords have gathered this data, but I can assure you this is not the case for Cheshire and North Wales.   We have a network of offices covering this area, if anything we have a far higher than normal lack of available stock.   On average we are running at 3 applicants to each property.   Are Goodlord counting newly listed property where the existing tenant is still in occupancy?   Agents (us included) will often market up to a month out in order that a new tenant is found ready for when the exiting tenant vacates, thus leaving little or no void period.   This would show a void period on the marketing but not on the actual property.

  4. honestlandlord10

    What nonsense !  North wales is booming… and our void periods are down to about 3 days max.  I would seriously call in to question your statement and the source of your data.

    From my experience; I have been inundated with tenants competing with each other to obtain a rental property.  I have on average 30 calls per property and end up closing the book on viewings as not to disappoint. Other landlords report the same; they are just overwhelmed and have their pick of quality tenants.

    Properties are marketed 30 days prior to a tenant vacating, this provides plenty of time to reference the new applicant and ensure they move in swiftly on the return of our property keys.  Reducing the void period to an absolute minimum.

    22 – 26 days in a nonsense.



  5. ilumin8

    What a load of tosh! Tenants are desperate for houses. Nobody has any stock. The market is 20% down with little sign that there will be an influx of stock to come.


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