Property price growth is currently being led by cities outside the South East, with Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester all recording growth of 7 per cent of more per year while UK wide it is 5.4 per cent.

The December Hometrack Cities Index shows that Edinburgh topped the table with annual growth of 8.2 per cent, taking the average price to £218,600, followed by Birmingham up 7.5 per cent to £154,100, Glasgow up 7.2 per cent to £124,900 and Manchester up 7 per cent to £157,900.

London saw the slowest annual growth at 1.8 per cent, taking the average price to £488,400 and the Hometrack report says that there is an increasing amount of price discounting in the city.

Graham Davidson, managing director of buy to let specialist Sequre Property Investment, says the index points to Northern cities being the best locations for landlords currently seeking to increase their portfolios.

“Manchester and Liverpool have remained among the strongest contenders with other cities such as Nottingham and Birmingham also among the top areas for property growth. For buy-to-let investors, these are the cities to be looking at over the next 12 months,” he said.

“Those who haven’t already moved away from the London market are advised to act quickly, not only have the rental yields remained virtually non-existent, but capital growth is also declining.

“Cities like Manchester and Liverpool offer much better property deals in both the short and long term,” he added.

Russell Quirk, chief executive of hybrid estate agent Emoov, said: “Buyers across areas with more affordable house prices did not have to lower their expectations as much over the last year and as a result, are now enjoying a quicker return to market normality.

“Those in London and the surrounding areas will have to wait a little while longer, partly due to far greater levels of price inflation, but also due to a refusal to accept the previous market reality and lower their price expectations in the first place.”