Private rents in some of the UK’s biggest city centres have fallen by up to 12% in a year but have risen sharply in parts of northern England as some tenants swapped an urban life for the suburbs, smaller towns and villages. Central London has been “hardest hit”, said the website, with average asking rents down by 12.4% on a year ago, followed by Edinburgh city centre, which was down 10%, and Manchester city centre, down 5.3%.

Away from city centres it was a different picture, with agents reporting busy markets and rising rents. In Durham, the average asking rent a month for a two-bedroom property jumped from £543 in the fourth quarter of 2019 to £632 in the same quarter last year – an increase of 16.4%. The equivalent annual RISES for Keighley and Wigan were 14.6% and 11.2%, respectively.