The average rent in England and Wales hit £845 a month in October, up 2.4% year-on-year, which is down from 4.8% in October 2016, according to the latest Your Move buy-to-let index.
Rents in the East of England, which contain many rural areas, commuter towns and major cities, including Cambridge and Norwich, has outstripped all other regions, rising by 6% over the past 12 months. The average rent in the region now stands at £887 per calendar month (pcm).
Other areas posting strong price increases were the North West, where rents grew by 3.1% to reach £633pcm and the East Midlands, which saw 3.2% year-on-year growth to reach an average of £648pcm.
London was one of two areas to see prices fall year-on-year, as the focus of the rental market continues to shift away from the capital and the South East.
The other region to see a decline in rents was the North East, which remains the cheapest place to rent a property, with the average residential property being let for £535pcm, while the capital continues to be the most expensive at £1,276pcm in October.
In both London and the North East prices have dropped by 1% in the last 12 months.
The yields achieved by buy-to-let investors stabilised in October, with the typical yield in every surveyed region remaining flat between September and October, which meant the average yield across England and Wales remained at 4.4% in October, the Your Move data found.
But when compared with 12 months ago, properties in every region are generating a smaller return. In October 2016 the England and Wales average was 4.8%.
Buy-to-let investors in the North East of England continue to enjoy the highest return at an average of 5.1%.
At the other end of the scale, London properties delivered the lowest yield, at just 3.2% in October.
Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “As we approach winter, the heat has been taken out of the rental market and price growth has slowed.
“While prices in most areas have continued to rise, it has been at a slower pace than we had been used to in recent years.
“Across England and Wales, rents have grown by 2.4% in the last year although some areas, such as the East of England, have performed above that level.”