Rents in Britain rose by an average of 2.5% in the 12 months to May, which was a marginal fall from the 2.6% annual increase recorded in the previous month, according o the latest data.
Index figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal that rental price increases were led by England, at an average of 2.6% year-on-year, followed by a 0.4% rise in Scotland, while the data remained flat in Wales.
The average rental price across Great Britain in May was £512.50, up from £500 a month in May last year.
Rental prices across Great Britain, excluding London, rose by 2% in the corresponding period and rental prices increased in all the English regions over the year to May 2016, with rental prices rising the most in the South East at 3.4%, up from 3.1% in April 2016.
In London, rents increased by 3.3% year-on-year, but the annual rate of growth was down from 3.7% in April 2016 and the East of England at 3.2%, up from 3%.
The lowest annual rental price rises were recorded in the North East at 0.8%, unchanged when compared to April 2016, the North West at 1.2%, up from 1.1% and Yorkshire and the Humber at 1.2%, down from 1.3% over the same period.
Since January 2011, rental prices in England have increased more than those of Wales and Scotland and since the beginning of 2012, English rental prices have shown annual increases ranging between 1.4% and 3% year-on-year, thanks in part to the supply-demand imbalance in the market.