The average rental asking price outside of London has hit an all-time high says Rightmove - whereas inside the capital, the figure is falling.
Asking rents outside London over the past three months averaged £845 per month, up 3.4 per cent on the same time last year.
But in London they are down 0.6 per cent compared to a year ago and down 2.8 per cent in the last quarter, as levels of total available stock have soared by 41 per cent compared to this time in 2019.
Rightmove says the situation is exacerbated by Airbnb and other short let landlords now competing for long-term rentals.
The portal says new rental listings dropped an average 50 per cent during lockdown, but are now up one per cent on the same time last year; total available stock is also up one per cent.
Overall rental demand is at a record high and so this may lead to further upwards price pressure except in areas of over-supply.
Monday is usually the busiest day for people enquiring about rental property, and it hit a record on Monday July 6; Rightmove adds that compared to this time last year demand is now 40 per cent higher across Great Britain.
Rightmove commercial director Miles Shipside says: “The pause in the rental market has led to some distorted figures over the past few months, especially in cities where landlords with short-term lets made the swap to instead try and find a long-term tenant.
“Both rents outside London and demand being at a record high isn’t good news for many tenants looking to move right now, especially as we know there will be even more competition for those attractive properties with more space, bigger gardens and a spare room.
“There are early signs that some existing London renters are looking to move further afield, adding to the large increase in the number of properties up for rent on Rightmove in the capital, so prospective tenants there could find there’s some room to negotiate especially if they are happy to sign a longer-term contract than usual.
“Many renters may feel they’ve been left out of the Chancellor’s recovery packages, but one glimmer of hope is that the temporary stamp duty savings may entice more investors to expand their portfolio. If this does happen we could see more choice for tenants and in turn prices may stabilise for a while, but it will take some time.”