Landlords found the best rental yields in the North West of England last year, the Your Move and Reeds Rains buy-to-let index covering England and Wales found.
In the year to April landlords in the North West recorded yields of 6.8% (not accounting for voids and arrears) with Yorkshire,The Humber (6.5%), the East Midlands (5.9%) and the West Midlands (5.8%) not far behind.
The average for England and Wales was 4.9%.
In terms of overall returns London still leads the way at 16.2% because of substantial house price growth in the city, up from the England and Wales average of 10.7%.
Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “Yields and returns have been remarkably steady in the face of an onslaught of hostile rhetoric and regulatory hoops.
“And all else being the same, there is a chance gross yields could rise marginally, to take account of any extra costs and complexities associated with being a landlord – such as the stamp duty surcharge.
“More change is on the way, and landlords will need to take appropriate financial advice on how changes to the tax system could affect them – as well as ensuring that their properties and tenancy agreements comply with every single rule and requirement.”
The report also revealed that rents rose at the fastest rate in six months in April to reach an average of £793 per month.
On a monthly basis this represented a 0.3% increase with the East of England and the South East leading the way with a 1% increase.
Gill added: “Some of the reasons for rent rises are extremely encouraging.
“Tenants looking to find a property to rent are more likely to be in work, getting pay rises, and feeling able to pay their other bills.
“These wider economic fundamentals are shifting on the side of healthier household finances.”