Private rents for buy to let landlords have stagnated, according to the latest official figures.
Rent rises for the year to February 2018 were 1.1% for the second month in a row – the lowest monthly increase since records started in 2012.
And the trend dates to last year when the rent rise for December was 1.2%.
The figures vary widely across the country, with England reporting a 1.1% rise, Wales growing at 1.4% while rents in Scotland languished with a 0.4% increase.
In London, rents stood still with just a 0.1% rise.
The figures come from the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices published monthly by the Office of National Statistics.
“Growth in private rental prices paid by tenants in Great Britain has seen signs of a slowdown since the end of 2015,” says the report. “This slowdown in the growth in private rental prices in Great Britain is driven mainly by a slowdown in London over the same period.”
In real terms, the figures show a property rented for £500 a month in February 2017, saw rent an average rent increase to £505.50 in February 2018.
In comparison, private rents soared by 15.6% between January 2011 and February 2018 – but when London rent rises are excluded, the rise drops to 12.1%.
Rent rises have slowed to almost a halt in London, but some regions show a higher rate of growth.
The biggest rise was 2.5% in the East Midlands – down from 2.6% in January. The South West and the East of England posted 2.1% increases.
The only region with a lower rent rise than the capital was the North East, where the rate has stuck on zero for two months in a row.
Elsewhere, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reports tenant demand was modestly up in the last quarter of 2017, while the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) indicates the supply of rental homes dropped 8% in January.