Vacancies are falling, but rents are falling: Goodlord

Vacancies fell across England in February according to Goodlord, although this increase in rental activity has yet to boost rents which have fallen throughout the month.

Real estate technology firm Goodlord attributed the drop in vacancies to continued strong demand for rental properties.

This has yet to produce a price increase, with rents falling by an average of 2.6% across England in February, with the average price per property falling from £994 to £968.

The biggest drop in voids was recorded in the South West where voids fell by 27% in February, from an average void period of 19 days to 26.

The East Midlands and Greater London recorded the second and third largest void falls respectively over the same period.

Empties fell in the East Midlands by 25% from 24 to 18 days, and by 24% in the capital where empty periods fell from 17 to 13 days.

The only region where voids increased was the West Midlands, where a 22% increase was recorded – reflecting an average increase in voids to 22 days from 18.

The increase in rental activity has not yet pushed up rents, even in the capital.

In Greater London, despite a 24% drop in vacancies, rents still fell by an average of 3.6%. The average cost of rent in the capital rose from £1,675 to £1,609.

Despite falling vacancies, Goodlord’s chief operating officer, Tom Mundy, isn’t surprised by the lackluster rental prices given the time of year.

However, Mundy warned of the potential impact of rising tenant wages: “Changes in average tenant wages are something to watch – as employers respond to the big quit and staff run higher wages, we’re seeing an increase in take home pay.

“This could well start driving up rental prices once again as tenants max out their budget in order to get the best properties.”

According to data from Goodlord, the average wage per tenant in England has now risen to £28,115.

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