Student demand pushes up rents
Thanks to above-average demand for student rentals, which included a range of high-value properties purchased by student tenants, average rental prices in England rose by 17.96% in July. This took the average cost from £1,050 in June to £1,238.
This is the highest average ever recorded by the index. Each monitored region experienced an increase in the cost of rent.
The biggest increase was seen in the North West, where prices jumped 44%. Students renting in the area, home to a huge range of universities including Manchester and Liverpool, are driving the surge. Average costs in the North West are now £1,213, down from £838 previously.
The second biggest jump was in the South West – home to universities such as Bristol, Bath and Exeter – with average prices up 36%. This raises the average cost of a rental property in the region 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 in July. A small rise of 3% was recorded, bringing the average price to £1,797 per property.
Empties hit a historic low
In addition to the highest rental price averages on record, July also saw the lowest cancellation rates in the index. The average vacuum period in England as a whole fell by 41% in July, from 17 days to just 10 days on average. Every region monitored saw a significant reduction in voids.
Again, this was driven by an increase in demand for student rentals, with the North West and South West seeing the largest proportional decline in vacancies. The lowest voids in England are now in the South West, just 5 days away.
The highest voids, at 17 days, are in the West Midlands. However, that is still down from the 24 days in June, down 29%.
Tenant wages increase slightly
Average tenant income rose very slightly in July – up 1% to £29,637 per tenant (from £29,275 in June). The biggest change in pay was seen in the East Midlands, where tenants’ take home pay rose by 15% – from £26,797 to £30,918.
Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, comments: “Driven by an increase in high-value student rentals, this has been a stunning month for the market. The heatwave failed to dampen demand and instead we saw record rents and record vacancies. The rental market is incredibly busy and demand shows no signs of slowing down this summer. Agents are working hard to ensure that good quality homes remain on the rental market and that tenant demand is met.