Rental prices continued to rise in August, albeit marginally, new figures show.
The average rent agreed on a new tenancy signed last month was £947 per calendar month (pcm), up from £937 a month earlier, the data from the insurance firm reveals.
Rents increased in August by an average of 0.9% compared to the corresponding month last year ago.
But the rate of growth, in percentage terms, actually increased to 1.3% year-on-year when London is excluded, with the average rent in the UK, without the capital, now stood at £786pcm. However, this remains significantly lower than the UK consumer price index of 2.3% recorded last month.
Average rents in London remain the most expensive in the UK, at an average of £1,632pcm, but the region with the largest year-on-year increase is Scotland, showing a 5.6% increase between August 2017 and August 2018.
Scotland also saw the largest month-on-month increase, up by an average of 2% between July and August 2018.
Rents in Scotland have increased by an average of 2.4%, or £17pcm, compared to the same month a year ago, with the average monthly rent stood at £892 in January 2017.
Rents in August increased in all 12 of the regions monitored by HomeLet, on a month-on-month basis, but on an annualised basis, they dipped in the North East, South West, Wales and the East of England.
Martin Totty, chief executive at HomeLet, said: “In contrast to house prices, which show more noticeable cyclical variations over time, especially in areas of the country where the imbalance between demand and supply is more pronounced, UK-wide rents in August increased around 1% compared with both the prior month and the same month last year.
“Our data demonstrates that the rental sector is showing a return to the long-term trend of steady, often below-inflation price growth. This makes the private rental sector an attractive alternative to the risk of entering, or exiting, property ownership at the wrong point of the cycle for tenants, landlords and lenders.”