A leading London letting agent believes that seasonal trends in the rental market can lead to more void periods and agents should be doing more to combat this problem. W A Ellis has admitted to dropping rents by 20% in December in a bid to attract more tenants during the notoriously difficult period and believe more agents should follow suit.
Head of lettings at W A Ellis, Lucy Morton, suggested that: “Voids did creep up but figures are distorted as the market has become more seasonal.”
She suggests: “For the last two years in particular, the key months have been between April and October, when a property can let within a week, whereas voids can be substantially increased if a property becomes available between November and March.”
According to Morton, 2013 saw an incredible 50% increase in middle-London tenancy agreements, with rents also rising by around 2.8%. W H Ellis’ average tenancy agreement lasts for approximately three years.
Morton predicts that a similar pattern could be followed in 2014, if the UK continues to recover from the financial crisis. She said: “Indications are that the City will be hiring thus creating more tenants. I predict prime central London rents will increase by marginally over 3% in 2014.”