The UK rental market remained stable in December 2019, according to Goodlord’s Rental Index.
Average rents stayed close to levels recorded in November, as the market experienced the traditional pre-Christmas slowdown, although void periods across the UK proved more encouraging.
Five out of the eight regions monitored by Goodlord saw rents align with November levels or dip slightly.
The largest decrease was recorded in the North East, where average prices dropped by 3% - from £607 to £588.
On the flipside, marginal rises were seen in Greater London (2%), the North West (3%) and Wales (3%).
The average cost of a rental property across the whole of the UK was £902 in December. This compares with a 2019 annual average of £927 per property, per month.
Average void periods
December was a healthy month for void periods, with the average UK void period dropping from 24 to 19 days, compared to an annual average for 2019 of 20 days.
All regions monitored saw a slight dip in void periods with the exception of the South West, which saw averages increase from 17 to 19 days. The South East saw a significant drop compared to November, with void periods falling from 28 days to just 21.
Goodlord found the average age of UK renters held steady at 34 years for the third month in a row, ending the year slightly higher than the 2019 annual average of 33.
The average income of tenants rose slightly in December, increasing from £22,728 in November to £23,615 in December.
Unsurprisingly, London continues to be the most expensive place to rent in the UK, with the North East, Wales and the Midlands the most affordable.
“Mid-November leading into December is traditionally quiet for the rental market, so these numbers are actually quite encouraging,” Tom Mundy, chief operating officer at Goodlord, comments.
“Rent decreases were slight across most regions, alongside some modest increases, with other regions holding steady. Void periods were down in the majority of regions as tenants looked to finalise leases ahead of the Christmas break.”
He concludes: “We ended the year sitting slightly higher than 2019 averages on some key metrics - an encouraging note to round off what has been a seismic year for the industry.”