Average asking rents outside London have soared to £800 per month for the first time, fuelled by a drop in the number of homes to let, data from Rightmove has revealed.

The third quarter of 2018 saw an average out-of-London rent rise of 0.8 per cent, which is the biggest jump recorded at this time of year since 2015, and comes as Rightmove reports 8.7 per cent fewer rental properties available outside the capital now compared to this time last year.

In London, the number of available rental properties is down by 19.4 per cent - while the time it takes for a rental property to be marked ‘let agreed’, has dropped from 41 days to 37 days.

Rightmove says one factor for this lack of rental stock is the drop in new buy-to-let mortgage approvals.

Rightmove’s commercial director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside said: “What we’re left with is a lack of available homes for tenants looking to find their next place to rent, meaning that when the right kind of property does come along it isn’t sticking around for very long before it’s snapped up.

“However, the majority of other regions are yet to see lower available stock translate through to a quicker time to let, with the national average of 35 days remaining the same as this time last year.

“Although some of the shortfall in supply will be met by quality housing provided by Build To Rent schemes in the coming years, it’s likely stock shortages will remain in areas with a high concentration of renters,” said Mr Shipside.

“Given this backdrop and rents likely to rise, private landlords should try and look beyond the current challenges if they can and stay in the sector.

“If they concentrate on improving the spec of their existing properties and buy better quality accommodation to add to their portfolios, tenant demand should steadily improve rental yields.

“Long term security is important too so see if landlords are open to negotiating a longer tenancy, perhaps with inflation only increases, as many will be keen to keep good tenants.”