Buy To Let Updated:
Tenants saw the return of rising rental prices in April – the first increase seen for three months.
The average price of renting rose to £709 a month in April, having fallen for the previous three months, figures from LSL Property Services show.
Prices for tenants rose in seven regions of England and Wales on a monthly basis, with the North West and the East of England seeing the largest increases of 1.3% and 1.1% respectively.
London 's rents rose by 0.7% in April, with the average standing at £1,032 each month; renting in the capital is 46% higher than the national average.
Rents fell the most in Wales , where they decreased by 1.3% and the West Midlands, where they fell by 0.6% compared to March.
The largest annual rises were seen in London, where rents rose 4.5% in April.
The next fastest growth was in the East of England and the South East where rents rose by 2.9% and 2.7% respectively.
On an annual basis, rents have fallen in just one region, dropping by 1.7% in the East Midlands.
"After absorbing the impact of the stamp-duty deadline on tenant demand, the rental market began to heat up in April," David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, commented.
"As fewer tenants rushed to leave the sector, competition for rental accommodation intensified, and rents rose correspondingly."
While landlords saw their potential returns increase, there was worse news in the form of new arrears figures.
Rental arrears rose as tenant finances took a turn for the worse in April, with 9.9% of all rent late or unpaid at the end of the month, up from 8.7% in March.
In total, unpaid rent in April amounted to £306 million, a 14% increase from £267m in the previous month.
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