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Void periods continue to decline

There was an encouraging decline in void rates during February, with the UK average standing at 19 days down from 20 a month earlier, the latest rental index from Goodlord shows.

The property technology firm found that landlords in London saw the biggest drop, with void periods falling from 15 days to just 10 days during February.

Buy-to-let landlords with properties in the North West, South East, South West, and West Midlands also saw a drop in their void averages. 

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However, the average void in the East Midlands increased from 19 days in January to 27 days last month.

The North East also saw an increase, although more modest. Void periods in the region inched up from 22 days to 24 days. 

The figures provided by Goodlord also reveal that average rents held steady or increased in three out of the eight regions monitored compared to January, but there was an overall drop in the average UK rental cost, reflecting the fact that February is traditionally a slower month for rent rises.

The overall UK average cost of rent dipped from £875 per calendar month (pcm) in January to £864pcm during February. However, the decline for most regions was between 1% and 2%. 

Three regions bucked the trend. The South East and the Midlands saw a 1% increase in average rental costs, with prices going up by 2% in the South West. 

Elsewhere, prices in Greater London dipped by 2%, with the East Midlands and the North East seeing numbers drop by a marginal 1% on average.

The biggest change was seen in the North West, where average rental costs dropped from £715pcm in January to £687pcm in February - a 4% fall.

Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, commented: “February is traditionally one of the quietest months of the year for lettings, which means these figures are aligned with our expectations for this period.

“It’s a good opportunity for letting agents to take stock of the systems they have in place and make sure they’re not only prepared for an increase in volumes as we head towards summer, but also upcoming legislation changes that will increase administration, such as the new electrical safety standards regulations.”

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