Rental voids hit eight-year low

Nia Williams

September 17, 2010

Compared with the previous quarter as part of the Association of Residential Lettings Agent’s (ARLA) survey of members, the average void period has again fallen from 3.6 weeks to 3.2 weeks.

The average number of new tenancies signed up compared to the preceding survey has also increased in line with seasonal trends.

Ian Potter, operations manager of ARLA, said: “The rental market is incredibly strong at the moment for those working within the industry but for those consumers who are relying on the Private Rental Sector for housing, the cost of renting must be of concern.

“The new government must ensure that finance is made available to the sector, so that more properties can be brought into the PRS and ensure that more rental homes are made available.”

Average void periods for rented residential properties are already short with nearly eight out of ten ARLA member offices reporting averages of four weeks or less per year.

The South East has experienced the lowest void period at just 2.9 weeks compared with 3.3 weeks for Central London and 3.4 weeks for the rest of the UK.

The average void period of the whole country is down quite sharply and is the third consecutive fall. Average voids have decreased in all three main geographical areas with the greatest decrease being for those outside London and the South East (from 3.9 to 3.4 weeks).

The rental market has made a dramatic recovery since the beginning of 2009 when void periods were close to an all-time high. The fall in the last four quarters confirms that the trend has now turned firmly downwards again and the average for this quarter is the lowest since these surveys began nearly ten years ago.

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