Annual rents rise 3.1pc
The East of England leads the way with a 10.2% annual rental rise followed by London at 4.9%, while at the other end of the spectrum rents fell by 0.4% in the North East and 0.3% in the North West.
Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move, said: “The rental sector is carrying the weight of the housing crisis.
“More homes are needed to house an ever-growing population – the supply simply isn’t there.
“The result is that landlords are catering to those who can’t afford to buy as well as those who choose renting for the flexibility it offers them – workers moving into new jobs, or people wanting to get a feel for an area before committing to property ownership and setting down roots.
“A serious and substantial commitment to new builds is the only way to bring supply in line with demand.”
Tenants were in worse shape month-on-month, as 7.6% of all rents were in arrears in February, up from 6.8% in January.
Rental returns stood at 11.5% annually to February, meaning the typical landlord has seen a return of £19,849 over the last 12 months before mortgage payments and maintenance costs are deduced.
From that figure rental income makes up £8,167 while the average capital gain amounts to £11,682.
Gill added: “With buy-to-let properties offering such generous returns on income and capital, it’s no wonder first-time buyers are getting squeezed out by landlord demand.
“In the current climate, renting is a sound investment, but still more support is required to ensure that this stability continues.
“A stable market isn’t just good for landlords – it’s good for tenants.
“Building more homes is the only way to ensure that tenants and landlords alike can prosper from the recovery.”