A UK rental index has published figures revealing that South West rental properties are being left empty for an average of 17 days each when on the market - and that rents have risen higher than ever.

The Goodlord Rental Index collects data based on tenancies processed through the Goodlord platform, including average rents and voidage periods - times when properties up for rent are left empty.

The latest research shows that average rental costs across England hit a new high of £1,249 per month in September, beating out the previous high of £1,238 in July.

This means that on average across England, rents are 13.7 per cent higher than they were a year ago.

In the South West, the average rent reached £1,422.06 in September - nearly £200 higher than the country’s average.

This was up from September 2021’s £1,221.49, meaning that South West rents have increased by almost exactly £200 in the past year.

However, the South West has seen the biggest increase in times that properties were left vacant of any region in England, jumping from 14 days to 17 days on average. The difference is more marked when looking back an additional month, as in July 2022 South West average voidages were just five days.

On average in England, voidage times only went up by one day, from 14 days to 15 days, but are still lower than last year’s average of 17.

Tom Mundy, the chief operating officer at Goodlord, commented: “This has been another record-breaking month for the market.

“Whilst we always expect August and September to be busy, we’re seeing rents break records for the second time in one summer and London has tipped over the £2,000 average threshold.

“These are truly significant benchmarks and demonstrate a red-hot rental market.”

“What happens when this reality meets what’s on track to be a difficult winter for many remains to be seen, but agents and landlords must be prepared for demand to stay high, even as individual circumstances start to shift.”