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News: The lettings market isn't slowing down this winter

Thu, 06 Jan 22

The rental market appears not to have slowed down this winter - not even over the Christmas break.

According to the latest index from PropTech supplier Goodlord, voids held steady month on month and rents also stood firm during December, as the strong demand continued across the country. 

The average void period for a rental property in England remained at 18 days last month, the same as the average figure recorded for November. 

There was some more variation in the individual regions. 

High demand for available properties in the South West saw a 21 per cent drop in voids last month, with averages moving from 23 days to just 18. The West Midlands also enjoyed a reduction in voids, falling from 21 days to 16.

Demand was more subdued in the East Midlands, however. Voids jumped from 16 days in November to 22 days in December - a sharp increase of 37 per cent.

Greater London, which was gripped early by the Omicron crisis, also reported a slow down. Voids in the capital increased by 23 per cent from 13 days to 16. 

The South East, North West, and North East saw voids saw minimal shifts in their void averages. 

Encouragingly for the sector, rents also held firm throughout December. The average cost of a property in England even rose slightly compared to November prices, rising from £980 to £985.

Rents were steady across every region monitored. 

The highest shift was seen in Greater London, which recorded a slight rise in prices of 2.2 per cent. The biggest drop was seen in the South East, where prices reduced by 1.5 per cent during December.

The highest rental price averages are still found in Greater London (£1,671) and the lowest in the North East (£716).

 

Goodlord also measures demographics and says typical tenant salaries were also steady month on month, moving from £26,819 in November to £26,794 in December, a difference of just £25. 

The average age of a tenant remains 34 years, unchanged since August 2021.

“We normally predict a cooling of activity in December, as less people are looking to move during the holidays, so these numbers are very interesting. Demand and costs remained virtually unmoved compared to November. It’s a strong indicator of just how hot the lettings market is right now” explains Tom Mundy, chief operating officer of Goodlord.

“Competition for properties is high and tenants are securing them as soon as they can. All signs point to a very busy year for agents and all agents should be preparing accordingly if they want to capitalise on the ongoing demand.”

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