Demand from tenants looking for a new home in the UK increased 7% between May and June, an uplift seven times bigger when compared to the previous four year average of just 1% at this time of year, the latest index shows.

In London there was a 13% increase in demand from May to June, compared to a four year average of 4%. The data also shows that nationally, excluding London, asking rents are at a record high of £817 per month, up 2.7% on a year ago as rents continue with a steady annual rise. In Greater London rents increased by 3% to £2,059. A breakdown of the figures shows that asking rents increased by 5.9% year on year in Scotland to £714, by 1.4% in the North East to £567, by 4.4 % in the North West to £689, by 2.5% in Yorkshire and the Humber to £617 and by 2.6% in Wales to £660. In the West Midlands they increased by 2.4% to £702, in the East Midlands by 2.8% to 654, in the East of England by just 0.8% to 930, in the South West by 3.9% to £829, and in the South East by 1.7% to £1,101.

The report suggests that people were looking to move earlier than the usual peak at the end of July due to the tenant fees ban being introduced in England and now letting agents are reporting an increase in enquiries from tenants looking to move now that the legislation is in place.

The report points out that there will also be some who have been given a new impetus to move by the removal of most tenant fees, giving them a saving of hundreds of pounds in some cases.

It also points out that the rental stock shortage of the last few years, along with this increase in demand, means tenants are likely to find the next few months more challenging to find the right property for them.