RENTS increased five per cent in York last year - one of only three cities in the country where the cost of renting rose by such a high level.

The average bill for a property in York is now £844 a month. The national average is £886 per month.

The other cities were rents went up by five per cent or more were Bristol and Nottingham.

In York, the high cost of buying a home is likely to be boosting demand for rental properties, according to Zoopla.

Tax changes that have eaten into landlords’ profits mean the supply of rental homes has dwindled. At the same time, demand from tenants has increased, pushing rental prices upwards, according to the index.

Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, said: “New investment by landlords has fallen since the introduction of tax changes in 2016 and this has been felt most keenly in southern England where property values are highest and yields lowest.

“This is creating scarcity and explains why rents are rising.”

He continued: “We expect rents to increase by 3.5 per cent over 2020 as a lack of supply supports faster growth.”

Michael Slater, assistant director of planning at City of York Council, said demand to live and work in York had increased as it was a "highly desirable place".

He added: “Through the Local Plan, we are making provision to deliver new and affordable homes across the city. Since 2016/17, 1,531 homes have been built across the city and recently, we have embarked on the largest council-led housing scheme in the city since the 1970s, delivering 600 high quality homes over the next five years.

"The homes the council will build will be to Passivhaus standards, with very low running costs, and twice the minimum requirement will be affordable: 20 per cent will be council housing and 20 per cent for shared ownership, providing a wide tenure mix for a range of lower-income households.”

Across the UK the average monthly rent in the final quarter of 2019 went up by 2.6 per cent annually.

This was nearly double the 1.4 per cent annual growth in private rents seen a year earlier.