An astonishing 65,000 tenants have left London over the last 12 months with the majority doing so to rent elsewhere, the latest monthly lettings index from estate agents Countrywide has revealed.

Over the last year, 64,672 tenants left the capital – the highest number since 2007 – with 78 per cent (50,406) leaving to rent another home and only 22 per cent (14,266) leaving to buy a home.

The new figures represent a significant shift from a decade ago when the majority of tenants moving out of London did so to buy a property.

Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, said: ““For people in their 30s leaving London is something of a rite of passage. But, as the number of those renting has grown, the move out of London is increasingly likely to be in the rental market.

“A decade ago most tenants moving out of the capital did so to buy. But since 2007 leaving London to carry on renting somewhere else has become more typical.”

Countrywide has also revealed that rents rose 1.1 per cent over the last 12 months to stand at £978 a month.

Over the last 12 months rents grew faster in southern regions than those in the north. However, more homes coming on to the rental market in Northern England has slowed rental growth.

In September there were 12 per cent more rental properties on the market across the three regions of Northern England (North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humber) with one in ten owned by a London landlord.