Rents dip and voids grow in August lull: Goodlord

Rents across England dipped by 1% this month, taking prices down to a national average of £1,227.54, says the digital letting platform’s monthly rental index.

The move sees rents fall back from July, which posted a record average national of £1,238.

However, the report points out that prices in August remain 12% higher on a year ago, as demand for lets puts pressure on existing stock.

The region that saw the biggest fall in rental costs this month was the North West, which fell by 19% to £982, with the report adding that rents in the area were boosted in July by “a surge in high-value student lets being processed”.

Only two other areas posted month-on-month falls: the South West, sliding 8.9% and the North East, which was 6.6% down.

The South East saw the biggest rise in rents, lifting 12.7% to £1,385, while Greater London rose 7.1% to £1,924 this month.

Voids also fell back from historic lows last month, with vacant days rising to 14 in August from 10, which the report says is “a more predictable pace for the market”.

However, the index points out that this average is 6.6% lower than void periods reported at the same time a year ago.

The biggest shift this month was seen in the South West, w. voids on average jumped to 14 days in August from 5 days the month before. The North West also saw a notable rise to 17 days from 7 days.

The only region to hold steady was Greater London, w. voids remained at 11 days. Void averages in the capital are now 15% lower than a year ago.

Average tenant salaries rose by 0.8% this month to £29,883, while the age of tenants dipped slightly to 32.

The report adds: “The last time the average age was this low was August 2021, reflecting the number of student renters signing tenancies in the summer months.”

Goodlord chief operating officer Tom Mundy says: “It’s been another hectic month for the market. Following a record-breaking July, this month’s metrics are slightly more measured, but continue to set new year-on-year benchmarks.

“Properties are in high demand, with fewer homes on the market than the number of tenants looking to rent them.

“As landlords and agents gear up for what could be a tricky winter – with a raft of new legislation coming down the track and a period of economic uncertainty for tenants as rising rents meet escalating energy bills – the lettings market shows no immediate signs of slowing down.”