Rents have fallen for the first time in Britain since January 2010, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services.
According to the survey, the average UK rent dropped by 1.2 per cent in December to £684 a month, though landlords are still charging 3.8 per cent more than they were a year ago.
Rental costs fell fastest in Wales, down 2.6 per cent last month, while typical amounts in the south-east and London dropped by 2.5 and 2.3 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, landlords in the West Midlands and south-west typically increased their charges by 2.2 and 1.7 per cent in December.
David Newnes, estate agency managing director of LSL Property Services, commented: "The recent slowdown in rents is down to landlords' pricing strategies. Landlords offering properties during the holiday season often lower the asking rent to avoid a costly void period."
He added: "With the supply of mortgage finance to both first-time buyers and would-be landlords still constrained, we are likely to see rents restart their upwards march before the spring."
Following a steady fall in property prices over the past three months, the total annual return on the average property fell by seven per cent last month to its lowest level since November 2009.
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