Across the whole of England and Wales the average rent in the PRS stood at £800 in March, up £2 compared with the previous month, but down sharply from the £811 recorded at the end of last year, new figures show.
According to the latest Your Move England & Wales Buy to Let Index, rents increased in six of the 10 regions analysed in March compared with the previous month, led by gains in the East of England. Prices here have increased by 1.6% in the last month and are now 7.4% higher than in March last year.
“In previous months we have seen rents in the South East rise as people looked to move beyond the capital, but it is the East of England which appears to be seeing the benefit as rents here have risen 7.4% in the last year,” said Valerie Bannister, letting director at Your Move.
In contrast, rents in London continued to fall, with the capital seeing rents decline on both a monthly and yearly basis.
The average rental property in the capital let for £1,203pcm during March 2017, down 6% month-on-month. But the city unsurprisingly remains home to the country’s most expensive properties.
“Rents in London have declined in the last 12 months, falling from £1,297 a year ago to £1,203 in March 2017,” Bannister added.
London was not the only area to see rents decline in both the last month and last year. In the North East, prices now average £525pcm after falling 3.7% since last month and 3.1% versus March 2016. It remains the cheapest place to rent a property in this survey.
The typical yield across England and Wales was 4.5% in March, Your Move found. This is down on the 5% recorded a year earlier.
Places with higher house prices continue to have the smallest yields, and so it is perhaps unsurprising to find that the average yield in London was just 3.2% last month, the same as the previous month, and lower than any other part of the country.
At the other end of the scale, properties located in the North East enjoyed the biggest yields. In this region the average return was 5.2% last month, while in the North West it was 5% - although both were down on the same point in 2016. These were the only two areas to see yields above the 5% mark in March.