Rents are nearly £100 per month higher on average than a year ago.
The average UK monthly rent was £995 in the first quarter of this year, Zoopla said, up by 11 per cent from £897 a year ago.
Its index is based on new lets agreed and shows demand has surged back into city centre markets and the supply of properties for rent struggled to keep pace, the report said.
A new let agreed for an average rental property in London, meanwhile, will cost more than £20,000 in rent over the next 12 months. In London, the average rent in March was £1,698.
Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said: ‘UK rental growth is being driven by high rental demand and limited supply, trends that are more pronounced in city centres.
‘The surge of post-pandemic pent-up rental demand will normalise through quarter two and quarter three, however which means rental growth levels will start to ease.
‘Affordability considerations will also start to put a limit on further rental growth although this may occur at different times depending on location.’
Gareth Atkins, managing director, lettings at Foxtons, said: ‘Steadily increasing demand, severely limited stock and a swift rise in rental prices are all compelling reasons to renew – and renters are responding.
‘Renters are also choosing longer tenancies to avoid a market in flux; our deal length for renewals has gone up 9 per cent in 2022, reaching an average tenancy of 15.7 months.’
As the threat of Covid recedes, life in the capital is slowly returning to its new normal. Over the last 12 months, rents in London have risen by 12.3 per cent, the fastest rate since the Hamptons Lettings Index began in 2013.
Experts say it is also the second successive month that rental growth in the capital has outpaced the GB average reversing 26 consecutive months of London rents lagging behind the rest of the country.
The move back to the capital marks the end of the mass exodus out of London when the pandemic first broke out and working from home became the norm.
Renters filed out of London en masse in the great ‘race for space’ as they looked for affordable rental properties with gardens and office spaces as the country battled national lockdowns.
Now that restrictions have disappeared and workers are returning to the office, renters are heading back to London, forcing prices up.
Meanwhile, those who stayed are seeking to extend their tenancy agreements in a bid to avoid the volatile rental market.
Source: Daily Mail