Private tenants paid an average 2.3% extra for rents, pushing the monthly average buy to let rent for February to £818, according to new research.
Year-on-year rents across the country were up 5.1% and hit a five-month peak during the month, says buy to let insurance firm Homelet.
Greater London was the region with the largest monthly increase, with buy to let rents rising 4.5% to an average £1,319 a month.
Meanwhile, the study also reveals tenant incomes went up 3.1% during the past year to £28,500 a year.
The figures show that buy to let rents in Greater London are 46% higher than average rents across the rest of the country – and when the Greater London figure is stripped out of the data, renting in the capital is almost double the cost of elsewhere.
“The English Housing Survey reveals how the number of people living within the private rented sector has almost doubled since the early 2000s. The report also shows how nearly half (44%) of private renters expect it will be five years before they’re able to buy a home – compared with only a quarter (23%) who anticipate they’ll buy their own home within two years,” says the report.
“There’s certainly been a shift in the demographic, expectations and lifestyle of tenants within the private rented sector, and the trend of ‘generation rent’ looks set to grow for the imminent future.
“Our new data reinforces this, showing how the average age of a tenant has increased consecutively for the past two years to 34 years old. We can see a wider variety of people, such as families and professionals, are deciding to become a tenant, rather than buy – and prefer the flexibility offered from living in a rented home.”
The report also explains that buy to let investment is strong and London’s booming economy is fuelling the rental market as more people move to the capital to benefit from better job prospects and higher wages.