Zoopla says rents outside London are rising at an average three per cent per year, the highest level since late 2018.
However despite the increases, average affordability remains broadly unchanged as wages rebound from the dip recorded last summer, keeping pace with rental growth.
Rents are rising fastest in the North East (up 5.5 per cent) and the South West (5.3 per cent) year on year - the strongest rate of growth in a decade in these regions amid increased demand and constrained supply.
However, the North East remains one of the most affordable regions in the country, with average rents absorbing only 21 per cent of the income of the average single earner pre-pandemic, compared to the UK average of 32 per cent.
Northern towns of Wigan and Barnsley are seeing some of the highest rental growth in the country, at 8.0 per cent with Rochdale at 7.8 per cent; this outperforms average annual rental growth in these towns of around 1.5 per cent between 2011 and 2019 by some margin.
The portal says current rental performance is being driven by an uptick in demand for rental properties in the 28 days to the end of April, compared to the average demand recorded across the ‘normal’ markets of 2017 to 2019.
In the first quarter of the year, demand for rental property outside of London was 32 per cent higher than the same period last year.
Zoopla suggests supply of rental properties in most markets is failing to keep up with demand, and the new supply of property coming to the market outside of London is five per cent lower than in Q1 last year.