Edinburgh and Newcastle followed with a 16% increase, while London rents rose by 11% compared to 2014, data from HomeLet reveals.
Martin Totty, chief executive officer at Barbon Insurance Group, said: “Beneath the headline figures, HomeLet’s data points to some significant variations in rental market performance in 2014, both from region to region and from town to town. In locations such as Brighton and Bristol, demand for rental property appears to have been particularly strong and rents on new tenancies jumped very markedly. In other areas, we saw slower growth.
“2015 was a year in which rents on new tenancies were up on 2014 in almost every area of the country. While we saw a moderation in the rate at which rents increased during the final months of the year, and even some falls in a number of regions, the sector overall has continued to see strong demand,” he said.
Rents on tenancies taken out during the last three months of the year increased in 10 out of 12 regions.
The UK average rent, excluding the capital, increased to £739 per month, a 4.9% rise compared to the same time in 2014. Rents in London grew by 8% to an average £1,523 per month.
The only two areas to see a decrease in the last quarter of 2015 were the Northwest (-5.1%) and Northern Ireland (-0.6%).
“Rents in London have continued to rise more quickly than in most areas of the country, but not at quite the pace of 2014. Meanwhile, average rents outside of the capital rose more quickly last year than in 2014,” Totty said.
“As a result, we saw a narrowing of the rent inflation gap between London and the regions last year – is this a trend we will see continuing in 2016 from tenants seeking value for money in the private rented sector?,” he asked.