Rent is now just £25 less than it was at its peak in August 2008, meaning buy-to-let properties are now yielding an average of 4.8pc.
David Brown, of LSL Property Services said: “Despite the distraction of the election, the buy-to-let market has gone from strength to strength, and landlords have seen their highest rents and yields this year.
“The UK’s political uncertainty surrounding the hung parliament – and its potential impact on the economy – will continue to depress demand for house purchase.
“With transactional levels subdued, the private rental sector will play an even more pivotal role in providing accommodation for hesitant buyers, and we expect tenant demand and rents to be boosted in the medium-term.”
House price growth has dropped significantly since the beginning of the year, which saw a monthly increase to January of 2.1pc.
The buy-to-let market is outstripping private property significantly, with the average annual return reaching 12.8pc for landlords, resulting in an income of £19,765 in the past year- £7,115 in rent, and £12,650 in capital appreciation. Annual returns have increased for fourteen consecutive months.
Returns have been boosted by a decline in tenant arrears- with just 9.7pc of all rent not being paid. This was the lowest proportion since LSL began compiling figures two years ago, and a significant drop of £7m from March.
Mr Brown concluded: “Not only has the buy-to-let market emerged from lingering effects of the recession, but landlords are now within touching distance of the record rents they achieved before the downturn.
“Supply and demand imbalances have corrected, and landlords are now getting a few pounds less each per month than they did at the peak of 2008.”