The private rental sector in the UK was stable in December 2019. Average rents for the month were close to those recorded for November 2019. Goodlord’s current Rental Index paints a stable picture for the private rental market in the UK. There was the inevitable slow down around the Christmas period but other than that things look good.
Overview of Average Rents
Goodlord reported that of the eight regions they monitor for rental prices, some stayed at the same level for November but there were a couple of slight dips. The largest dip was a 3% drop in the North East of England which drove average rental prices down to £588 from £607.
There were some small increases as well with Wales showing a 3% rise in rental prices, the North West of England experienced the same 3% rise and even Greater London (which has taken a real battering over recent years) recorded a 2% increase in rental prices.
All of this means that the average rent in the UK private rental sector for December 2019 was £902. The annual average for rents in the UK for 2019 was £927 per month. So things are all good at the moment.
Void Period Averages
There was some encouraging news about void periods. December 2019 was better for void periods and the month saw a reduction to 19 days from 24 days. The UK average for void periods in 2019 was 20 days.
Most of the regions monitored by Goodlord saw a reduction in void periods. The one exception to this was the South West of England which saw their void period average increase to 19 days from 17 days. Better news for the South East of England where average void periods reduced to 21 days from 28 days.
Other notable Trends from the Goodlord Index
The average age of renters in the UK was stable at 34 years for last three months of 2019. Average rental age for the entirety of 2019 was 33 years old. There was an increase in tenant average income in December 2019 at £23,615 compared to November 2019 which was £22.726.
It will probably not come as a surprise to you that the most expensive location for rent prices is London. The most affordable rent prices in the United Kingdom can be found in Wales, the Midlands and the North East of England.
These numbers are encouraging because traditionally from the middle of November through to December sees a real slowdown in the private rental sector. There were only slight rent price reductions recorded in a couple of regions and there were modest increases in other regions as well.
The reduction of void periods during the period was also good news. There were a lot of tenants who wanted to get their tenancy agreements finalised before the Christmas holidays started.
So the next time that you read those sensationalist headlines about the UK buy to let market being dead you will know better. The demand for private rentals remains strong and this is likely to be the case for a long time. We can only see rents rising further rather than decreasing.