The South West English region registered the highest annual rent growth of 3.3 per cent, according to the latest Countrywide plc Monthly Lettings Index – September 2017.

However, the national average rents rose by 1.1 per cent over 12 months driven by growth in the south of the country. This is attributed to more number of London tenants moving to the south.

Over the last 12 months 64,672 tenants left London, the highest number since 2007. While 78 per cent (50,406) left to rent another home outside the capital with the remaining 22 per cent (14,266) leaving to buy a home. This is a significant shift from a decade ago when majority of tenants moving out of the capital did so to buy (51 per cent).

The two other English regions where rents rose fastest were also in the south: South East (1.9 per cent) and East of England (1.7 per cent).

Over the last 12 months, rents grew faster in southern regions than those in the north. More homes coming on to the rental market in Northern England has slowed rental growth. The increase in rents in London is also prompting renters to look at affordable options outside the capital.