Property News

Rents Hit Record High & Voids Hit Record Low

Rents Hit Record High & Voids Hit Record Low

Voids hit what has been described as an historic low in recent weeks, according to PropTech firm Goodlord.

It says the average void period in England as a whole dropped by 41 per cent in July – moving from 17 days to just 10 days on average. Every region monitored saw a significant reduction in voids. 

This was driven by a surge in demand for student lets, with the North West and the South West seeing the biggest proportional fall in voids. The lowest voids in England can now be found in the South West, at just five days. 

The highest voids, at 17 days, are in the West Midlands. However, this is still down from 24 days in June, a drop of almost a third.

At the same time average rental prices in England have risen by a huge 17.96 per cent during July, taking the typical cost up from £1,050 in June to £1,238. 

This is the highest average ever recorded by Goodlord, and again the PropTech supplier says it’s all down to students.

Every region monitored saw an increase in the cost of rent.  The highest rise was seen in the North West, where prices jumped by a staggering 44 per cent. Students renting in the region, which is home to a huge range of universities including Manchester and Liverpool, are behind the surge. Average costs in the North West are now £1,213, up from £838. 

The next biggest jump was recorded in the South West – home to universities including Bristol, Bath and Exeter – with price averages increasing by 36 per cent. This takes the average cost of a rental property in the region up from £1,130 to £1,539. 

Despite still being the most expensive place to rent in England, Greater London saw the least movement in average costs during July. A small 3% rise was recorded, taking the average price up to £1,797 per property.

Goodlord also measures average income for tenants, and this rose very slightly during July – up by one per cent to £29,637 per tenant (compared to £29,275 in June). 

Tom Mundy, chief operating officer at Goodlord, comments: Driven by a surge in high-value student lets, it’s been a staggering month for the market. The heatwave failed to cool demand and instead we’ve been seeing record high rents and record low voids. The lettings market is incredibly busy and demand shows no signs of abating this summer. Agents are working hard to ensure good quality homes stay in the rental market and tenant demand is met.” 

New Record High For Typical Room Rents, Latest Survey Reveals

Average monthly room rentals are at their most expensive ever according to lettings platform SpareRoom.

It says in London the typical monthly room rent is £815 pcm, some 15 per cent more than a year ago. Record highs are also being recorded in many other parts of the UK – every singly region has reported an increase in the past month.

The platform says this is due to a perfect storm of low supply, high demand and rocketing energy costs being passed on through rent increases.

In London, the most affordable postcodes are mainly in the southeast and east regions. The cheapest area to rent a room in the capital is still Abbey Wood (SE2) at £616, followed by Manor Park (E12 ) at £620 and East Ham (E6) at £621.

As you’d expect, the least affordable postcodes are in central and west London areas – West End/Soho (W1) had the highest room rents at £1,299 followed by Westminster/Belgravia/Pimlico (SW1) at £1,097 and Earl’s Court/West Brompton (SW5) at £1,060.

Outside of the capital, the most expensive areas to rent in Q2 2022 were Kingston Upon Thames (£727), Twickenham (£711) and Barnet (£709). 

Conversely, the cheapest areas to rent a room were Darlington at £391, Huddersfield at £394 and Middlesbrough at £396.


Labour MP Calls For Rent Controls To Help Combat Cost Of Living Crisis

A Labour MP says the government should introduce emergency rent controls as part of a package of measures to combat the cost of living crisis.

Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley has written to Tory leadership hopefuls Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak saying that without such a measure “a moral and economic catastrophe” will unfold. 

In the letter he sets out demands of the MPs and the government, including one titled Price Controls, which says: “In recognition of the severity of the current crisis and the dire forecasts being projected by the Bank of England, a comprehensive system of prices controls one basic essential including food and rent should be introduced.”

His other demands include increasing the national minimum wage to £15 an hour “across the board”, uprating benefits, imposing an Excess Profits Tax, and radical reform of the energy market. 

His lengthy letter concludes: “I know that some will consider me naive for writing to put forward proposals that could not be more out of tune with prevailing throughout within your party. I also know that in the context of the current Conservative leadership contest, the experiences of my constituents count for little when compared to the views of your party’s members in some of the wealthiest parts of the country.

“But when confronted by the immediacy of the crisis and the government’s continued refusal to recall Parliament, I am left with no other recourse but to issue you both with this heartfelt appeal.”

Activists in Generation Rent are also calling for an immediate rent freeze.

On social media, and in relation to the predicted energy price increases, the activist group says: “The scale of economic hardship that is going to be facing renters over the coming months is immense. It’s important that they don’t face unaffordable rent hikes on top of everything else.”

On the 38 Degrees website its petition is from Emma Johnson, described by the group as a supporter, and it says she was evicted via Section 21 and given two months notice, in which time it was “impossible [to find alternative accommodation] so I was made homeless by my landlady’s decision.”

The petition – which contains a tick box asking if people want to be contacted by Generation Rent about its campaigns – continues: “Right now, landlords can raise the rent by hundreds of pounds per month, and the tenant has little option but to accept it. If the tenant tries to negotiate, the landlord can serve a Section 21 which can’t be challenged. If the tenant can’t pay the rent and gets into two months’ arrears or more, the landlord can serve a Section 8 notice which, again, can’t be challenged.”

The petition goes on: “The government needs to act now to tackle the cost of living crisis and protect renters who are being forced to choose between staying on top of rent and putting food on the table. To choose between living and merely existing. Only if the government freezes rents and stops these types of evictions will millions of renters finally begin to get some sense of security during this cost of living crisis.”