Buy-to-let investors in England and Wales enjoyed total returns of nearly 10% in the past year, new figures show.
Landlords saw gross rental yields rise to 5.2%, while rising property prices took their total average annual returns to 9.4%.
The latest Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move and Reeds Rains also showed that rents soared to an all-time record of £816 a month in September. That compares to £768 a month in September 2014.
Rents in London, the South-East, South-West, and East & West Midlands also hit regional records.
The average rent rose 6.3% over the past year, even though consumer price inflation (CPI) is now negative at 0.1%.
Rents in London are rising fastest, up 11.6% to a new record of £1,301 per month.
On a cumulative basis the difference with inflation is starker. Rents are now 24.4% higher than in January 2010, while the index of CPI inflation is just 14.1% higher.
This means rents have risen by 10.3% in real terms since the start of the decade.
Despite rising rents tenant finances have also improved, with rent arrears falling to 8.6% of all rent due.
Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, said: “Rents are rising strongly in real terms due to the recent acceleration in wages, and the much deeper and longer-term shortage of available properties across the UK.
“Meanwhile, as the price of everyday essentials plateaus and even falls, rents are no longer following the same broad trends. The cost of a place to live has now uncoupled from the cost of living.
“As long as this supply and demand imbalance keeps up, it is hard to see any reversal in the speed of rent rises.”
Gill said that reform of the UK housing market and planning system is the only serious way to maintain steadier rental inflation.