Rental market heats up in February as rents and demand rise

Rental market heats up in February as rents and demand rise

9:20 AM, 5th March 2024, About 4 months ago

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Last month, landlords saw an increase in rents and demand for rental properties across England, according to Goodlord’s latest Rental Index.

It says the average rent of a property in February was 7% higher than in February 2023, and 1% higher than in January 2024.

The average rent was £1,162, up from £1,154 in January.

‘Don’t normally see a bump in rents during February’

Goodlord’s chief executive, William Reeve, said: “We don’t normally see a bump in rents during February. It’s typically a slower month where things cool off following the post-Christmas release of demand we see in January.

“The fact that we’re seeing a rise this month is indicative of the ongoing squeeze on the market and a lack of available stock – something that’s further evidenced by the shortening of voids across England.”

He added: “Right now, the market is delivering fairly consistent year-on-year stats when it comes to rent rises and we continue to hover around the 7% mark.

“All eyes will be on whether this starts to reduce as we come into the summer following last year’s record-breaking numbers, or if new records will be set.”

Rents have been rising steadily

The report also reveals that rents have been rising steadily since the usual Christmas slump, even though rents usually drop in February.

Goodlord says that rents have fallen in February in four out of the last six years.

The current rise in rents suggests that the market is under pressure and that there is a shortage of supply.

South West had the largest increase in rents

The year-on-year data for February 2024 versus February last year shows that the South West had the largest increase in rents, with a 11% rise in year-on-year.

The North East followed with a 7.5% rise in rents, and the West Midlands had the smallest change at 4.5%.

The average rental in the South East was £1,293, and in the South West it was £1,173.

However, rents in the West Midlands fell 2%, while in Greater London, rents dropped by 1%.

Ongoing demand for rented homes across England

The report also highlights the ongoing demand for rented homes across England, as shown by the reduction in void periods.

The average void was 18 days in February, down from 22 days in January – an 18% reduction.

The North East had the largest change in voids, with a 29% reduction from 24 days in January 2024 to 17 days in February 2024.

All regions had shorter voids, except for the South West, which had a stable void period of 20 days.

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