The average rent across England and Wales has remained flat over the past 12 months, with rents reaching an average of £860 per calendar month (pcm) in March, according to the latest figures from Your Move.
Rents in the South West continue to outperform all other regions, increasing by 3.6% to hit an average of £701pcm last month.
Other areas to post strong growth include the West Midlands, where prices grew by 3.3% to reach £638pcm, and in the Yorkshire and the Humber region, which has an average rent of £589pcm following a 2.3% increase in the last 12 months.
At the other end of the spectrum, the East of England saw the sharpest drop, as prices in the area decreased by 2% to hit £875pcm.
Prices fell by 1.3% in London but, with the average rent standing at £1,260pcm the capital remains by far the most expensive place to rent in England & Wales.
On a monthly basis, the East of England and North East both saw rents fall by 0.3%, the only two areas to post such a decline.
The North East remains the cheapest place to rent, with an average monthly charge of £539pcm.
The average rent across all of England and Wales dropped month-on-month, falling by 0.1% between February and March.
The data also reveals that tenant finances remain solid, with the proportion of tenants struggling with their finances remained at 9.4% in March, Your Move found.
Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move, said: “Yields continue to perform strongly, with just one region offering lower returns this month than in February.
“We continue to see landlords in the south of England looking further afield for their next rental opportunity, as northern properties deliver stronger yields.”
“The growth of the urban rental market has created yield hotspots for private landlords in northern cities like Manchester and Liverpool.”
“Universities in these major cities are attracting students from across the country.
“Young professionals are also increasingly relocating to the North. The investment in infrastructure and culture, for example the relocation of the BBC and ITV to Manchester, has undoubtedly boosted the desirability of the city among this group.”