Townends estate agents, who operate across Surrey, Hampshire and London, have found that void periods for the majority of properties, especially one and two bedroom properties are virtually non-existent and advise new and existing landlords not to be deterred by reports on void periods, which are based on national statistics.
Caroline Kavanagh, Group Lettings Director for Townends estate agents says "Contrary to reports of the average void period for a rental property being nearly 60 days, we are finding that demand for most rental properties across our branch network is so high that their availability is virtually non-existent, only coming to the market long enough for the property to be turned around and let out again, thus leaving little or no void period at all."
Properties in greatest demand vary from region to region depending on size, location and price but it has been suggested that continually rising rents have been the catalyst for a significant shortage of smaller properties in particular, as tenants look to downsize to avoid rising rents. "We have had instances of properties coming to the market 6-8 weeks before they are available and letting within twenty-four hours at the full asking price, if not more" says Caroline.
Despite tenants looking to cushion themselves from further rent rises, many are so keen to secure properties that it would appear the ceiling of what some tenants can afford may still have some headroom.
Caroline adds "Landlords need to look into their individual market to gauge average void periods and exactly what is in greatest demand. However, it is frustrating that in a market which is seemingly rosy in comparison to the rest of the economy, statistics can give the wrong impression yet in truth, a London market will paint a very different picture to one in other areas of the UK."
Caroline concludes "From experience there simply isn't enough property coming on to the market to match the demand and this trend shows no signs of slowing. Excess demand could continue to drive rents up further leaving landlords who think long-term in a great position."