Rent prices in London are lower now than were five years ago but have risen in every other region, research from Thirlmere Deacon has found. 

Excluding London, average monthly asking rents across the country are at a record high of £982 per month, up 4.2% since March 2020 – the highest annual rise since 2015.

London is the only UK region where rents are lower today than they were five years ago, according to recent Rightmove data. Rents across almost two-thirds of the capital’s districts are lower now than they were in March 2016, meaning that the average London rent has fallen by 2.3%.

The decline in rents is being driven largely by areas of Inner London, where average rents are down by 6.5% compared to five years ago. Outer London is faring much better, with rents up by 2% since March 2016.

All other regions of the UK have seen rental prices rise since 2016, with many having experienced double-digit growth. The East Midlands has seen the highest rental increases, up by 19.3% over the past five years, with asking prices rising from £733 to £875 per month.

In terms of towns and cities, Wolverhampton has seen rental prices soar by 35%, with rents increasing from £631 to £855 per month. Walsall, Bradford and Liverpool have also seen asking rents surge, rising by 32%, 29% and 28% respectively over the past five years.

The North West has also seen rental prices rise by 15.2% since 2016, now sitting at £831 per month, up 4% year on year.

And according to Thirlmere Deacon, the rental market is booming in the North West, with property investor enquiries up 32% over the last 12 months.

Stuart Williams, director at Thirlmere Deacon, said: “We have seen a surge in enquiries looking for investment property in the North West, particularly in Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool.

“Many of the Northern Powerhouse towns and cities are enjoying a steadily growing community of businesses, thriving economies and a healthy rental market. Sheffield, Leeds and Liverpool have all been listed in the top 25 postcodes for buy-to- let rental yields over the last few years.

“On average, rental yields are higher in the North, which is why many investors are moving away from the South East and are looking for investment opportunities in the Northern Powerhouse. An influx of new professional workers into the region is pushing up demand for quality accommodation.”