Average monthly rents in England and Wales have fallen on a monthly basis for the first time since March, according to letting agents Your Move and Reeds Rains.
The average national monthly rent fell by 0.1% in August, down from £804 to £803.
Annual growth has slowed more significantly from an all-time high of 6.8% in July to 5.5% in August.
Despite the national slowdown, the agents report that some regions continued to hit new highs in August. The average rent in the West Midlands, £586, and the East Midlands, £596, both represented new records.
What's more, the agents report that average rents in the East of England are growing at an annual rate of 11.5% - the fastest in the country – ahead of 10.2% growth in London.
Tenants in the capital are still shelling out the most per month in rent, however, at an average of £1,278.
In total, five out of ten regions have seen rents fall on a monthly basis, including Wales, the South East and the North East.
Leading the field on a monthly basis, South Western rents rose 3.2% between July and August, while the East Midlands saw 2.1% monthly rental growth.
The gross yield on an average rental property in England and Wales remained steady in August at 5.1% when compared with July. It is now slightly higher than the 5.0% recorded in August last year.
Total annual returns incorporating both capital accumulation and rental yields, have also stabilised.
On average, landlords in England and Wales have seen returns of 9.3% over the twelve months ending August 2015 – the same figure recorded the previous month but down from 13.4% in August 2014.
This means that the average landlord in England and Wales has seen a return of £16,856 in absolute terms, before deductions such as maintenance and mortgage payments.
Of this, the average capital gain contributed £8,323 while rental income made up £8,533 over the twelve months to August.
“When purchase values cool, rental yields tend to assist in a soft landing for total returns, and this has been the case over the last six months or so. However, the picture in the purchase market is now an optimistic one, and may boost landlords’ prospects further this year,” says Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move.
“With mortgage rates still likely to remain low for some time, the outlook for the property market as a whole is positive – and the opportunities for landlords to get involved are excellent.”