Void periods continue to decline

Void periods continue to decline

High tenant demand means voids remain low, according to a new survey by Paragon Mortgages.

The specialist lender conducts a quarterly survey of landlords, who report on a variety of trends in the market, including the annual average void period  across their rental portfolio.

In Q2 2014 landlords reported an average void period of 2.7 weeks, a decrease from 2.8 weeks in the first quarter and the lowest level seen in the past 12 months. The last time the void period average reached a low of 2.7 weeks was Q2 2012.

There was a sharp increase during 2009 and 2010 where the average period spiked to 3.5 weeks in Q2 2010. Traditionally, over the course of the 12-year landlord survey, the average void period has been between 2.6 and 3.0 weeks.

The lowest average reported was 2.5 weeks in Q4 2002. However, what is important here is that from its highest to lowest point there has only been just a week’s difference.

John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, said: “What we have seen over the last 12 months is a downward trend in average void periods reported by landlords. This is encouraging as it means properties are being let quicker, which is better for landlords and better for prospective tenants.

“With there being just a week’s difference in the highest and lowest void periods recorded this suggests that properties are being rented quickly, and that the letting process is managed well by both landlords and letting agents. As tenant demand is continuing to remain high, it is likely that we may see the average time a property is empty decrease even further in the coming quarters.”