Residential rents in the private sector across England and Wales increased by 2.3% in the 12 months to September 2018, reaching an average of £861, the latest index shows.

London was only region to see rents fall, with prices down 1.3% year on year but it is still the most expensive place to rent a home at £1,271 per month while the strongest growth was in the South West, according to the Your Move rental tracker.

Both the North East and Wales recorded annual rent falls but returned to growth in September, In Wales rents grew by 0.3% to £588 and in the North East they increased by 0.2% to £535 and is the cheapest place to rent.

On a monthly basis, the West Midlands and South West saw the highest growth, both up by 0.4% while London, the East of England and Wales saw rents fall month on month, by 0.11%, 0.17% and 1.12% respectively.

The returns delivered to landlords and property investors remained competitive in September and properties located in Northern regions earned higher percentage returns than those located in Southern areas.

The average investor in the North East saw an annual yield of 5% in the year to September while in the North West it was 4.8%. London investors once again had the smallest percentage returns at 3.2% and overall in England and Wales the average yield remained at 4.4%.

According to Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move, 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,’ he pointed out.