Void periods at lowest for 13 years

UK landlords are seeing the lowest levels of void periods in their properties since 2002, the latest Paragon Mortgages survey has revealed

The average length of time between rental tenancies in the first quarter of 2015 stood at 2.4 weeks, the lowest figure since the survey began.

Lower void periods provide a boost for buy to let landlords and property investors as it increases the levels of income they can attain from a rental property.

The first quarter figure marks a fall from a void period of 2.6 weeks recorded in the final quarter of 2014, while the length of void periods have fallen by 14 per cent compared with a year ago.

In the first quarter of 2014 the average void period was 2.8 weeks, with landlords reporting falling or low void periods since the start of 2013.

The only slight fluctuation in the figures occurred in the summer of 2013 when voids climbed during a period of three weeks.

“Void periods have been consistently low for some time, which is not unexpected when you also look at what landlords are telling us about the level of demand from tenants,” said John Heron, Director of Paragon Mortgages.

In the first quarter of 2015, the survey reported that 42 per cent of landlords thought tenant demand was growing or booming, while a further 54 per cent felt demand was stable.

Mr Heron added that the market is currently experiencing a shift, saying that more people are opting to live in the private rental sector.

He drew on figures from the English Housing Survey in February which revealed that 4.4 million households are now privately rented, in comparison with 3.9 million in the social rented sector.

“This change in housing dynamics appears to be continuing a long term trend,” he added.

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