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The average void period experienced by UK landlords fell in 2014 with the lowest recorded in the fourth quarter of the year, down to 2.6 weeks, the latest sector survey shows. This was down from 2.8 weeks in the fourth quarter of 2013 and void periods have now not risen beyond 3.5 weeks over the past 13 years, according to the quarterly survey from specialist buy to let lender Paragon Mortgages. The first quarter of the year saw the average void period remain at 2.8 weeks then it dropped slightly to 2.7 weeks in the second quarter and returned to 2.8 weeks in the third quarter before falling again in the final three months of the year. Void periods have remained low over the period of the survey, averaging between 2.6 and 3 weeks since 2001. The lowest recorded void period was 2.5 weeks in the fourth quarter of 2002, and the highest at 3.5 weeks in the second quarter of 2010, which was during the peak of the financial crisis. ‘Although void periods have fluctuated slightly over the past year they have continued to remain low, peaking at 2.8 weeks,’ said John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages. ‘It is encouraging to see that in the fourth quarter of 2014 void periods reduced to the lowest point recorded since 2012, only slightly above the lowest average void period reported by our research at 2.5 weeks,’ he pointed out. ‘The low average void periods we have seen over the past year, and in previous years, reflects the strong and growing demand we have seen for private rented property together with effective property management by landlords and letting agents in renting out properties,’ he added. ‘This is positive news for landlords and, as tenant demand continues to rise, it is possible that void periods may decrease even further in 2015,’ he concluded. Continue reading →
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