Rental prices continued to rise steadily in April across England and Wales, according to the latest Your Move tracker.
The average rent was £861 in this period, 0.5 per cent higher than in April 2018.
However these national figures mask considerable regional variation. In the West Midland rents jumped by 4 per cent over this period, to £641 a month, making this the region with the strongest rent rises.
In contrast, rental prices declined by 2.2 per cent in the East of England over this same period.
Other areas to register strong growth include the South West up 3.7 per cent year-on-year, Yorkshire and Humberside up 2.5 per cent, and the North West up 2.3 per cent.
Overall London continued to be the region with the highest rents. The average monthly rent in the capital now stands at £1,262. This was followed by £898 for the South East, and £874 for the East of England.
Wales had the lowest monthly rent at £597 a month.
Your Move national lettings director Martyn Alderton says: “It is the areas which have seen periods of strong growth in recent years, such as London and the East of England, which have dropped back slightly.
“Other areas of the country, including the West Midlands, are starting to catch up and are growing at an attractive rate.
“Regardless of the short-term rent fluctuations the property market remains a great place to invest, with landlords also enjoying stable returns compared to last month.”
Rising rents are starting to offset the higher costs and taxes paid by landlords. According to this survey, property investors saw their returns remain stable between March and April, ending the recent squeeze on landlord returns.
Once again northern regions offered the highest percentage yields. For example, properties in the North East typically returned 5 per cent to investors while that figure was 4.8 per cent in the North West. This contrasts with an average yield of 3.2 per cent in London and 3.3 per cent in both the South East and South West.
There was a modest decrease in the number of tenants in financial difficulty during April, Your Move found. Some 9.1 per cent of all tenancies were behind with their payments during the month. This is lower than the 9.4 per cent recorded in both March and February.