Slowing rental price inflation in London saw the annual rate of rental growth in the UK drop from 2.6% in April to 2.5% in May, new figures have revealed.
Data from the Office for National Statistics show rental growth slowed slightly in the year up to May 2016 in the UK.
Annual price increases had previously been stronger in London than the rest of England since November 2010, but in the 12 months to May 2016, annual rental price increases in the south-east surpassed those of London.
Regionally, the largest annual rental price increases were in the south-east at 3.4%, up from 3.1% in April 2016, followed by London at 3.3%, down from 3.7% in April 2016, and the east of England up from 3% to 3.2%.
The lowest annual rental price increases was 0.8% in the north-east and 1.2% in the north-west.
On a country basis, private rental prices grew by 2.6% in England, 0.4 % in Scotland and were unchanged in Wales in the 12 months to May 2016.
This represents a big drop for the Scottish market from a peak of 2.1% in the year to June 2015.
The ONS said: “The rental market in Great Britain continued to show signs of strength in the year to May 2016, as prices grew by 2.5%, only 0.1 percentage points lower compared with the previous month.
“The fall in the rental price inflation rate was driven by slightly lower London price inflation (3.3% in May compared with 3.7% in April) – though this still reflects robust growth compared with other regions.”
It said inflation in the rental market is likely to have been caused by demand in the market outpacing supply.