Residential rents for new tenancies in the UK increased by 2.5% during first month of the year, according to the latest figures to be published.
It means that the rental market has returned to growth with nine out of 12 regions covered by the HomeLet rental index reporting rising rents, taking the average rent in the UK to £889 or £707 excluding Greater London.
The figures show the highest growth occurring in the East Midlands, Scotland and East Anglia with rents rising 6.2%, 5.7% and 5% respectively.
Only the North East of England, Northern Ireland and the West Midlands have seen a decline in rental prices,’ the index data also shows.
Overall the index report says that after a period of seasonal adjustment towards the end of 2014, which saw rental prices falling in many parts of the country, the rental market has started 2015 with a return to growth.
The average rent in the UK is now £889, compared to £867 at the end of 2014, and £799 in January 2014.
A breakdown of the figures show that the average rent in the East Midlands is now £617, a monthly rise of 6.2% and an annual increase of 7.2%. In Scotland it is £651, a month on month rise of 5.7% and year on year up 9.4%.
East Anglia has seen a monthly rise of 5% but year on year average rents are up only 1.6%, taking the average to £762 while in the South West the average is £830, up 3.5% month on month and up 10.2 compared with January 2014. Yorkshire and Humber has seen rents rise by 3.2% month on month and 10.1% year on year to £613.
Greater London has seen the steepest rise with average rents reaching £1,425 in January, up 2.3% month on month and an annual rise of 13.4% while other regions have seen more muted rise with Wales seeing a month on month rise of 2.3% and an annual rise of just 1% to an average of £586.
The North West saw a month on month rise of just 0.8% and an annual rise of 5% taking average rents to £650 while the South East was up 0.7% month on month but over 12 months average rents were up 4.2% to £873.
Everywhere else saw rents fall month on month, down 1.1% in the West Midlands to £635 but the region has seen rents rise by 4.8% year on year. In North East they were down 2.6% month on month to £518 but up 2.6% year on year.
Northern Ireland has had the poorest performing rental sector. Average rents were down 0.5% to £556 and down 2.3% year on year, the only annual decline in the whole of the UK.