On a yearly basis, rents in the North West rose by 3.6% to an average of £633 – the fastest growing area surveyed in the index.
Following the North West was the East Midlands, which saw a 3.4% rise from last year, with rents jumping to an average of £646 per calendar month.
On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the average rent in England and Wales rose to £843 in September, slightly higher than the £841 in August and 3.2% higher than the same point in 2016.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis it was £938 pcm.
Martyn Alderton, national lettings director for letting agents Your Move and Reeds Rain, said: “There was a stellar performance in the North West, with rents increasing by 3.6% over the year and landlords seeing a high yield rate of 5%.”
Across the country, yield levels have stabilised with the average yield standing at 4.4% — the same number for the sixth successive month. However, yields remain lower than the average return of 4.8% recorded in September 2016.
“Yield levels have started to stabilise across surveyed areas after being squeezed at the start of the year. This is good news for landlords and demonstrates the resilience of the sector,” Alderton added.
The survey also revealed a steep drop in struggling tenants, with the proportion of households in arrears falling from 12.8% in August to 8.9% in September. The highest recorded percentage of tenants in arrears was in February 2010, at 14.6%.
Away from London
Prices in the South West and the North East were the only regions to post a year-on-year fall, at -2.2% and -0.3% respectively.
Though most areas have seen rental price growth over the past 12 months, the best performances were seen in regions away from London, which actually saw a month-on-month fall by -0.1% between August and September.
“Once again the strongest rent growth was found in the areas away from London and the South East,” said Alderton. “As activity in the capital slows, prices and activity have risen in the north.”
However, London still claims the title of highest rents in the country, with an average price of £1,280 in September.