The average rent across England and Wales increased by 2.2% in the 12 months to October 2018 to £861 with little change from previous months, the latest lettings survey shows.
Seven out of 10 regions posted annual rent rises, led by the South West with an increase of 4.4% year on year to £686 while rents in Wales were flat at £588, according to the Your Move rental tracker index.
The data also shows that rents fell in the East of England and London, down 0.4% and 0.9% respectively. London which remains the most expensive place to rent a property, with the average rent at £1,271.
In the South East, which was the only one of the three most expensive regions to post annual growth, rents increased by 1.6% to £895. Meanwhile, the cheapest place to rent a home is the North East where rents increased by 0.8% to £535.
On a monthly basis, the North East and West Midlands saw the biggest rent increase. Both regions saw average rents rise by 0.4% between September and October and the North West was not far behind with a rise of 0.3%.
Property investors in northern regions are seeing the largest percentage returns, with average yields much higher than in southern areas. The average yield in the North East was 5% in the year to October while in the North West it was 4.8%.
Across all of England and Wales the average yield was 4.3%, the same as in September, while London recorded the smallest annual yield at 3.2%.
‘The focus of the rental market has now well and truly shifted away from London. Prices in other regions are growing much faster and offering higher percentage returns for landlords,’ said Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move.
‘All in all, there are positives across much of England and Wales, including the fact that tenant arrears are falling,’ he added.