An increase in the number of first-time house buyers appears to have slightly eased demand in the rental property market, which is turns seems to have checked the recent relentless rise in rental levels.

As the number of tenants drops, so a slowdown materialises with the average monthly rental payment in England remaining constant from May to June 2013. At £737 per month however, rents are still 2.6% higher than in the same month last year according to LCL, parent company of Reeds Rains.

As always of course where property is concerned, the survey found significant regional variation with half of UK regions surveyed seeing rents rise in June, topped by the East Midlands where rents rose 0.7% from May.  The North-West and South-West also saw rental levels surging ahead at 0.5% growth. Compare this to the situation in Wales where average rents are down almost 2%.

The report found that overall the proportion of households in the private rented sector continues to grow and that this trend should continue for the foreseeable future. Affordability of a first time home purchase continues to be limited by low earnings and high deposit requirements plus other factors associated with compliance rules. Hence average rents are expected at least to rise in line with inflation in the coming years.