The focus of the rental market has shifted away from London, according to Your Move’s Rental Tracker for England and Wales.
Data from October 2018 shows seven out of 10 regions posted an annual price rise, with rents in the South West rising the fastest. Prices in the South West grew by 4.4 per cent in the past 12 months, with the average rent now standing at £686 a month.
Your Move says a combination of strong local economic growth and high demand for housing saw prices grow faster than any other region on an annual basis. But despite the rise, the region is still some way behind other parts of southern England.
London remains the most expensive place to rent a property, with the average rent in the capital standing at £1,271. However, prices in London are falling, with the average rent dropping by 0.9 per cent over the past year.
Prices in the East of England were down 0.4 per cent in the year to October, with the average property now let for £890 per calendar month.
The average rent across England and Wales now stands at £861 (seasonally adjusted), showing little change from previous surveys. Across all regions, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the average property let for £934 in October.
The cheapest place to rent in the country is the North East. Prices in the region increased by 0.8 per cent in October to an average of £535 a month. Elsewhere, prices in Wales were flat compared to a year ago, with rents standing at £588 per calendar month.
According to Your Move, property investors in northern regions enjoyed the largest percentage returns, with average yields much higher than in southern areas. The average investor in the North East enjoyed an annual yield of 5 per cent in the year to October while in the North West this figure was 4.8 per cent.
London had the smallest percentage returns, recording 3.2 per cent during the month. Across all of England and Wales the average yield was 4.3 per cent, the same as in September.
Your Move national lettings director Martyn Alderton says: “The South West was the star region this month, posting faster rent growth than anywhere else. Investors in the North East and North West continued to enjoy higher percentage returns than other areas, with some areas looking at a 7.5 per cent yield.
“All in all, there are positives across much of England and Wales, including the fact that tenant arrears are falling.”