The latest rental market snapshot from YourMove suggests that typical rents rose 1.8 per cent across England and Wales in the past 12 months.
The average rent over the two countries is now £865 per calendar month.
On an annual basis, rents rose faster in the South West than any other region while unsurprisingly London remains the most expensive place to rent with an average rent of £1,263.
YourMove says that while the lead up to Christmas can often cause a slowdown in the rental market, as people are reluctant to move during the festive season, this year bucked that trend with rental prices rising compared to both November and the previous year.
While the level of rent increases has slowed in the last couple of years, there was still solid growth in most regions of England and Wales during 2018, Your Move found.
On an annual basis, the strongest growth came in the South West. In this region prices rose by 4.1 per cent to hit an average of £702. Three areas still have higher rents than the South West, although average rents dropped in two of these regions.
In the East of England the average rent is now £881, which represents a 1.4 per cent fall compared to December 2017, while in the South East prices rose - by 1.2 per cent - to reach £897.
While landlords continued to see their returns squeezed during 2018, the year ended on a positive note: each of the 10 regions in the Your Move survey recorded the same average yields in December as they did in the previous month. Across England and Wales the average also remained the same, at 4.3 per cent.
The North West, West Midlands, Wales and the East of England all ended the year with smaller yields than they did a year previously. However, the East Midlands bucked this trend with the average returns rising from 4.0 to 4.2 per cent year-on-year.
The two most northerly regions continued to have the best percentage returns for landlords. In the North East the average yield was 5.0 per cent while in the North West it was 4.8 per cent.