The rental market in England and Wales saw rental prices increase by 1% in the twelve months to January with all regions but one recording growth, an index has revealed.

Average rent in January was £798 with England’s East seeing the fastest rent rises over the year and London properties continuing the lead in the country’s highest rents.

Signs of hope in Rental Market

This growth came despite a minor fallback between January and December, as data from YourMove’s buy-to-let index has revealed.

In England’s East, rental prices saw an increase of 6.9% in the twelve months to january 2017 and currently average at £870 per month. The region also experienced the fastest growth month-on-month , mainly being explained through Londoners looking outside the capital to meet their housing needs.

Other areas that surprised with strong growth were Wales, where prices went up by 6.5% (up to £586) in the last twelve months and the East Midlands was experienced an increase of 4.5% (up to £634) compared to one year ago.

The only area to see an annual drop in prices was the South West, where prices went down by 1.6% (to £661).

How broken London’s house prices are – in one graph

The only places seeing rents decreasing month-on-month were London at -0.4% and the North West by -0.1%.

Valerie Bannister, lettings director of Your Move, said:

“The start of a new year brought renewed confidence for the rental market in England and Wales. Rents in nearly every region surveyed have increased compared to the same point last year.”

Yields, however, continue to be squeezed tight across the country, with all areas stating lower returns that they did one year ago. In January, the average return was 4.6% which is a minor decrease from the 4.7% in December and somewhat more significant behind the 5.1% from one year ago.