An index carried out by the PropTech firm Goodlord monitored eight UK regions at the turn of the year and looked at factors including average rents, affordability and average void period in each area. As well as rents remaining steady, the index also found that there was a reduction in void periods, despite the usual lull in the run-up to Christmas.
According to the index, the national average rent stood at £902 per calendar month (pcm) in December (including London) and five out of the eight remained at the same level since November with some even seeing a slight increase. Some of the highest performing regions included the North West and Wales. The London rental market also started to bounce back with a 2 per cent increase in average rents since November, with asking rents averaging out at £1,668 pcm.
The majority of regions saw uncharacteristically low void periods given the time of year with the average UK void period dropping from an average of 24 days to 19 days. It was only the South West that saw an increased void period - where the average void period went from 17 days to 19 days.
House prices in the UK saw an even stronger start to the decade. Figures from Halifax revealed that UK house prices saw a year-on-year increase of 4% in the year to December and a 1.7% monthly increase from November - the biggest monthly increase in 2019. This was largely credited to the results of the December election which brought us one step closer to having the uncertainty around Brexit resolved. The rise in house prices also reflects the shortage of available housing stock throughout the country which is going to put further pressure on the demand in the private rented sector.
Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said of the results: “This was driven by a monthly gain of 1.7 per cent in December alone, which was the biggest monthly increase of 2019, pushing up the year-on-year growth rate.”
“Looking ahead, we expect uncertainty in the economy to ease somewhat in 2020, which should see transaction volumes increase and further price growth made possible by an improvement in households’ real incomes.
“Longer-term issues such as the shortage of homes for sale and low levels of house-building will continue to limit supply, while the ongoing challenges faced by prospective buyers in raising deposits will serve to constrain demand. As a result, we expect a modest pace of gains to continue into next year.”
This is a very positive start to the new decade for the property market and with any uncertainty surrounding the economy and Brexit somewhat out of the way, we’ll see the market continue to go from strength to strength.
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