Looking at data from eight regions in the UK, the index reviewed the average asking rents, void periods and age of renters in January. Overall, the data suggested that the rental market kicked off the new year on a positive note with asking rents averaging out at £874 per calendar month.
Although this was a drop from the previous month, half of the UK regions had either seen an increase in average rents or rents remaining steady. According to Goodlord’s data, rents in the North West performed the strongest with the average increasing by 5%. This was closely followed by the North East who saw an increase of 3% in average rents. The strong performance in UK rents was echoed in the rental index carried out by Homelet which found that UK rents grew faster than inflation in the year to January. In their data, Homelet found that the average rent had increased by 2.3% whereas inflation had only increased by 1.4% in the same period. Once again, the North West stood out at as a frontrunner in the Homelet rental index - the region saw a monthly increase of 1.1% from December and an annual increase of 8.7% from the same period last year.
Average void periods also managed to remain steady from December. In Goodlord’s index, they found that the average void period throughout the UK stood at 20 days, which was the same as December. However, a number of regions had seen their void periods drop significantly since December, which suggests a spike in people looking for new homes after the Christmas period. The East Midlands saw the biggest drop in void periods - the average in that region dropped from 23 days in December to 19 days in January. The North West also saw a significant drop in void periods from 22 days in December to 19 days in the following month. Overall, Greater London had the lowest void period of 15 days, but this had increased by three days since December.
Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord said in response to the data: “Whilst it’s encouraging to see void periods hold steady across winter, landlords and agents will be hoping the dip in average rental costs is simply a hangover from the Christmas season.
“We would normally expect rental averages to hit their lowest levels between December and February, so this isn’t unexpected - we should start to see stronger metrics in the not too distant future.”
It’s clear that the market was recovering from the aftermath of the general election and the festive period between December and January. That being said, the data is still very encouraging given the time of year and now that Brexit has gone ahead and there’s less political uncertainty, the market should thrive even further.
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