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Rental Market Sees Price Surge in January Despite Longer Void Periods

Goodlord’s latest Rental Index reveals an upward trend in rents for January, with an over 7% year-on-year increase despite a lengthening in void periods. However, compared to last year, the voids have seen a reduction.

January’s rent trends buck the usual quiet period

Despite the traditionally slower pace of January, the rental market remained active with a 1% increase in rents from December. The average monthly rent in England now stands at £1,154, marking a significant 7% rise from the January 2023 average of £1,076.

Regional variations in rent changes

A year-on-year comparison between January 2023 and January 2024 highlights the most substantial rent increase in the North West, where rents have surged by 9%. On the other hand, the East Midlands witnessed the smallest increase, with rents rising by 5.5% over the year.

Rental Market Sees Price Surge in January Despite Longer Void Periods Landlord Knowledge

Monthly regional rent fluctuations

The most notable monthly change occurred in Greater London, where rents rose nearly 2% in January, bringing the average to £1,968. Despite having surpassed £2,000 between August and October 2023, London rents fell below this mark over the winter but still remain the highest in England.

In contrast, the North East experienced a 1.5% decrease in rents, from £853 to £839, maintaining its status as the most affordable region for renting in England.

Void periods: A mixed picture

January saw an increase in void periods, rising from an average of 20 days in December to 22 days. However, this is still an improvement compared to January 2023, which averaged 23 days. The longest voids are currently in the East Midlands at 28 days, with the shortest in Greater London at 18 days.

William Reeve, CEO of Goodlord, reflects on these trends: “We don’t expect to see huge market movements in January; the pace of new tenancies tends to take a few weeks to pick up post-Christmas. So to see this uptick in month-on-month rents – as well as the consistently sizeable year-on-year rises – is a sign that the market isn’t cooling down anytime soon.

In addition, with a new burst of activity on the sales side of the housing market, we could start to see some interesting knock-off effects on the lettings side in the coming months which could bring additional turbulence.”