The average price a rental property is put on the market for outside of the capital has hit a new record high as tenant demand outweighs available properties, resulting in the most competitive rental market ever recorded.
New data from Rightmove's (RMV.L) quarterly Rental Trends Tracker reveals asking rents outside of London rose to £1,088 ($1,417) per calendar month (pmc), up from £982.
The 10.8% rise in asking rents marks the first time annual growth topped 10% across nine regions.
Rents in London also hit a new record of £2,193 pcm, increasing by 14.3% in a year from £1,919, the largest annual jump of any region that Rightmove has recorded.
"In the first three months of this year, we’ve seen tenant demand exceed the high levels set last year, which when coupled with the fewer available homes for rent, has resulted in the most competitive rental market we’ve ever recorded," said Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove.
There are more than triple the amount of tenants enquiring as there are rental properties available, Rightmove said, meaning landlords likely have a choice between multiple suitable renters.
Despite the imbalance between high tenant demand and the low numbers of properties available, the number of rental homes coming onto the market jumped 5% in March, compared to January, and 16% versus February.
Tenant demand was up by 6% across Britain and the number of available rental properties is 50% lower than this time a year ago.
This time last year, the number of available properties in London rose by 19% compared to 2019, as London temporarily fell out of favour with renters. Demand is currently up 81% and available rental properties fell by 47% in London compared to the 2019 market.
Rightmove, UK's largest property website, said demand is growing in areas outside of price hotspots with lower rents, while still being in commuting distance of the major cities for work or leisure.
Manchester and Liverpool are two of this quarter’s top five rental price hotspots, with asking rents increasing by 19.3% and 17.1% respectively compared to this time last year.
Demand also increased in areas surrounding Manchester and Liverpool with lower average asking rents, with seven of the top ten rental demand hotspots near the cities.
Prenton and Birkenhead, the top two hotspots, have average asking rents of £591 and £551pcm, compared to £876 pcm on average for nearby Liverpool.
Watch: Will UK house prices ever fall?