After peaking at 39% during the third quarter of 2020, void periods have steadily declined over the last 18 months and have now reached their lowest level for the last 5 years, according to newly released data from Paragon Bank.
The survey of 800 landlords, undertaken by BVA BDRC, found that the decrease is driven by a reduction in those with portfolios consisting of six or more properties indicating that one of their rental properties had remained vacant recently.
Splitting the data by region reveals that the greatest incidence of recent void periods was seen by landlords in Wales, with 39% facing at least one empty let. This compares with the South West and East of England where a substantially lower proportion, 23%, of landlords have reported voids.
One of the most notable shifts seen in void incidences can be seen in Central London, further evidence of the capital’s rental market resurgence.
In Q3 2020, driven by pandemic, 68% of landlords operating in Central London recorded a void period, the highest proportion of any region. Today, the region sits below the national average after just 24% of landlords experienced a void within the last three months.
Richard Rowntree, Mortgages Managing Director for Paragon Bank, said: “With sustained strong tenant demand and the constrained supply seen in both the rental and purchase markets, it comes as little surprise that void periods have reached a five-year low.
“This reinforces our belief that policy designed to support homeownership, which we support, should be carefully considered so as not to be at the detriment of a private rented sector that is evidently as important now as it’s ever been.
“Put simply, we need more homes and achieving this will require an approach that sees all tenures viewed as solutions, with each catering to a diverse mix of people are different stages of their lives.”