The new academic year kept the rental market ticking over in September, according to the latest Your Move figures.

The majority of regions saw rents rise compared to the previous month, and all increased on an annual basis except London, which fell by 1.3% in the last 12 months.

The average rent across England and Wales grew by 2.3% in the last year, hitting an average of £861.

The strongest annual growth came in the South West, where prices have risen by 4.3% to hit £686 a month, followed by the East Midlands, where the average property is now worth £656 after growth of 2.4%.

Last month, both the North East and Wales recorded annual rent falls, however, both markets have returned to growth this month.

On a monthly basis, the West Midlands and South West were the standout performers. Both regions saw average rent increases of 0.4% between August and September.

Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move, commented: “Students up and down the country are beginning to return to their universities. Yet far from the outdated stereotypes of ropey student digs, many young people are able to access top quality student accommodation in their place of study.

“The growth of the student rental market has been a boon for landlords who have invested in good quality properties.

“Yet the number of living options for students means that there is real competition, with landlords having to ensure quality is high to attract the best tenants.”