Leicester has been named as the UK's rental hotspot for 2014.
According to HomeLet, the East Midlands city saw the greatest growth in rental prices over the course of last year. It found the average rent in Leicester grew 45 per cent in 12 months, rising from £421 to £611.
The organisation revealed Southall and Cambridge were the next best areas, with growth of 38 per cent and 24 per cent respectively. Gloucester (22 per cent) and Chelmsford (19 per cent) complete the top five.
Swindon (18 per cent), London (12 per cent), Telford (ten per cent), Ilford and Harrow (both nine per cent) comprised the remainder of the top ten.
Colchester saw the greatest fall in rental prices, with a drop of 24 per cent from £708 to £539. The Essex town was followed by Croydon and Brighton, which experienced drops of 23 per cent and 18 per cent respectively. Romford (12 per cent) and Manchester (seven per cent) completed the bottom five.
Cardiff (minus five per cent), Belfast (minus three per cent), Huddersfield and Lincoln (both minus two per cent) and Leeds (minus one per cent) made up the remainder of the bottom ten.
Martin Totty, chief executive of HomeLet's parent company the Barbon Insurance Group, commented: “2014 was predominantly a year for growth in the rental market, with rental prices on average 6.6 per cent higher than in the previous year.
"However, the data also points to some big differences in rental market performance in 2014 from town to town and city to city. The causative factor behind these differences is as simple as supply and demand."
While Leicester saw the greatest increase in rental prices, its average rent of £611 is some way below the national average of £867 recorded by HomeLet in December. It is less than half the figure for Greater London, which stood at £1,393 last month.