Buy to let tenant demand is stagnating and stands at the lowest level for six years, according to research by a leading lender.

The study by The Mortgage Works, the buy to let arm of the Nationwide Building Society, shows 37% of landlords report no change in tenant demand for the second quarter of 2018.

Another 15% believe demand has increased slightly, while 18% consider fewer tenants are seeking to rent a home.

Only 5% have seen a significant rise in demands, while 6% say there has been a significant decrease.

The remainder (19%) are unsure.

A third of landlords in the East Midlands say demand is up 17%, with those in Eastern England and Yorkshire & Humber report a 6% boost.

This is in stark contrast to the North East and Central London, with have experienced a 21% plunge. Tenants have also evaporated in Outer London, which has seen a 17% fall.

“Over a third of landlords with property in Central London and the North East reporting that tenant demand has declined either slightly or significantly,” says the report.

The research also suggests tenant demand may depend on property profitability, with 47% of landlords making a loss also reporting demand has collapsed in the past three months.

One reason for London’s demise as the country’s buy to let capital could be an increasing number of people fleeing high rents to purchase their own property.

Estate agent Hamptons International has released figures showing just over 30,000 Londoners deserted the capital to buy a home elsewhere – mainly in the South-East. The number is a 16% increase compared to the same time last year.

The data reveals 20% of Londoners mover to the North or Midlands – up from 6% a decade ago.