Rents are rising the fastest in the South East of England with growth of 6.9% in the 12 months to January, Your Move’s buy-to-let index has found.
They rose in eight out of nine regions in England and Wales, with the only fall taking place in the South West (-1.6%).
Valerie Bannister, lettings director of Your Move, said: “The start of a new year brought renewed confidence for the rental market in England and Wales.
“Rents in nearly every region surveyed have increased compared to the same point last year.”
“Yields continue to be squeezed in most areas of England and Wales, with all regions recording lower returns than at the same point a year ago.”
The average rent in England and Wales was £798 in January, with London leading the way with rents averaging at £1,286.
The state of tenant finances worsened slightly in January, with the number of households in arrears of more than two months rising from 21,080 in December to 29,158 in January.
Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “London house price growth has slowed to its lowest level in four years and may well slow further in the coming months – stamp duty appears to be killing off the rapid inflation in the capital. In practice, this means other cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool are taking up the mantle of fastest growing house prices.
“Average UK house price inflation remains 6.9% year on year. This is pushing home ownership into an unattainable dream for many renters across the country. It could be argued that the Housing White Paper didn’t go far enough, but any progress will be welcomed by first time buyers and those looking to move up or down the ladder.”