Rents in the UK increased by 1.5 per cent over the last year, if London is taken out of the equation, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown.

Regionally in England, East Midlands saw the highest growth at 2.8 per cent, followed by the South West at 2.1 per cent.

But the index of private housing rental prices for 2017/18, shows an overall growth of 0.9 per cent, unchanged from the previous year, because rental prices in the London market fell by 0.3 per cent.

Across the UK, Northern Ireland showed the highest rate of change, at 1.7 per cent, while Scotland had the weakest growth at 0.5 per cent, Wales, at one per cent, was slightly higher than England, on 0.9 per cent.

ARLA Propertymark's (the Association of Residential Letting Agents) July 2018 report found that supply of rental properties has decreased, while tenant demand was at its highest level for the year so far.

Meera Chindooroy, policy and public affairs manager at the National Landlords Association ( NLA) said: "This data follows a trend we've been noticing in our own statistics for a while.

"We signalled in February that landlords in London were reducing their rents, which benefits tenants living in the area.

"However, the increase in rents across neighbouring regions suggests demand is merely being pushed out of the capital.

“The increase in rents seen elsewhere in the country is not unexpected given recent reports suggesting supply is reducing while demand remains strong.

“The Government should consider these figures in the context of a dynamic private rented sector and housing market, and ensure that future policy interventions consider the wider impact on landlords’ willingness to invest."