Rents in the private rented sector rose by an average of 2% in Britain in the 12 months to March 2017, but this was marginally down from the 2.1% recorded a month earlier, new figures show.
In England, rents increased by an average of 2.1%, while growth in Wales stood at 0.7%, the latest index data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows.
But the data also reveals that rental prices actually fell slightly by 0.1% in Scotland, which backs up separate figures from Your Move Scotland that reveals weakening market conditions north of the border on the back of stronger supply and lower demand.
The annual rate of growth in Scotland has actually declined from a high of 2.1% in the year to June 2015, the ONS said.
The largest annual rental price increases were recorded in the South East of England with growth of 3.4% in March, up from 3.3% the previous month, followed by the East of England at +2.8% and the East Midlands and South West, with both regions recording growth of 2.5%.
The North East saw the weakest annual rental price increases, with growth of just 0.7%, which is down from 0.9% in February.
Other regions to record low annual rental price increases included the North West (+1.3%), Yorkshire and The Humber as well as London (both at +1.6%).
The index also reveals that between January 2011 and March 2017 private rental prices rose 14.5%, fuelled primarily by growth in London rents.
Excluding the capital, private rental prices increased by 10.4% over the corresponding period.
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