Following an entire year of rent growth in 2019, rent began to plateau in December, and even dropping in some places, according to the Goodlord Rental Index.
The final issue of 2019 detailed mostly stable rent prices, but with the North East maintaining its status as the most affordable place to live in the UK, dropping by 3% from £607 to £588, Greater London maintaining its place as the most expensive, rising by 2% from £1,630 to £1,668, and Wales seeing the highest growth, rising by 3% (£662 to £682).
The average cost to rent a property in the UK also dropped in December, with December’s £902 down on the year’s overall average of £927 per month.
Despite this small slowing down in growth in some areas, Goodlord are optimistic about the future, as December is often a month of reduced growth every year.
Tom Mundy, Goodlord’s CEO, said: “Mid-November leading into December is traditionally quiet for the rental market, so these numbers are actually quite encouraging.
“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.
“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.”
The Rental Index did stay the same in age, however, with the average age of those renting properties in the UK remaining 34, a figure consistent since September 2019.
The East Midlands has the oldest average age of tenants at 36, while London and the North West have the youngest, averaging 32.
This report did also however show a much better month for void periods. The average void period dropped from 24 to 19 days, compared to the average of 20 days over all of 2019.
The South West was the only area to see an increase, from 17 to 19 days, but this is more consistent with the nation’s average, so shouldn’t be worth worrying about. The South East saw a change in the other direction, falling from 28 to 21, and all other areas saw a slight drop.