July saw average void periods drop across almost every region in England, reaching the lowest level since August 2019, according to the latest rental index from Goodlord.
The biggest regional change was seen in the North East, where voids dropped from 13 days in June to seven days in July, a reduction of 46%.
The West Midlands saw a 20% drop, recording a reduction from 23 days in June to 18 days in July.
Greater London, the North West, and the South East also saw falls, while the East Midlands held steady at 18 days.
The South West was the only region to record an increase – from eight days in June to nine days in July.
However, this is still significantly down on May’s average for the region, which stood at 18 days.
As voids were dropping, rents were rising to the highest levels seen over the last two years.
During July, the average cost of rent in England rose by 10%, from June’s average of £960.62 to a new high of £1,060.50.
With rents typically peaking during July and August, Goodlord argued that these figures reflect a rental market operating at full capacity.
This is the highest average cost of rent recorded over the last two year period.
The South West, which is operating at a very low void average, saw prices rise by 24% over the month – taking average costs to £1,248 as demand for coastal living continues.
The North East, which now has the lowest voids in England, also saw a significant uplift in the cost of rent.
Averages rose from £732 to £872 – a jump of 19%.
Despite this, the North East remains the cheapest place to rent in the UK in relation to average regional salaries.
All other regions recorded a rise: the North West (11.5%), the South East (7%), the East Midlands (6.8%) Greater London (4%), and the West Midlands (3.5%).
Tenant incomes also saw a rise during July – increasing by 5% month-on-month.
This means the average tenant in England earns £26,946 per year; excluding London, the average is £25,647 per year.
This is the highest country-wide average ever recorded by the rental index.
Tom Mundy, chief operating officer of Goodlord, said: “We’ve seen some incredible numbers come out of the sector over recent months, but July has set a new benchmark for industry strength.
“It’s clearly been an incredibly busy few weeks for the market, with the data pointing to void and rental cost averages not seen for almost two years.
“Likewise, tenants are earning higher salaries, which is contributing to this ongoing demand for rental space.
“August is typically a hugely busy month for the sector.
“This means landlords and agents should be prepared to capitalise on demand and ensure that they have the systems in place to handle this next phase of the lettings boom.”