Nine out of 11 regions in Britain saw a fall in their total rent bill over the last year - the first in 10 years, a new survey has found.
Despite average rents rising 0.4% in 2018, fewer people renting homes meant the total rent bill shrank by £1.9 billion since 2017.
London saw the biggest drop in the total amount of rent paid by tenants, with capital from rent falling by £0.62 billion year-on-year to £20.6 billion, according to the research by Hamptons International.
The east Midlands (£0.13 billion) and the north east (£0.06 billion) were the only regions to see a rise.
The survey found the rate of rental growth has slowed over the last 12 months across the country, with the average cost of a new let rising just 0.6% year-on-year compared with 2.4% in January 2018.
London, which led the slowdown over the last year, has seen rents gradually starting to rise again, but the south east and south west both recorded rents falling -0.5% in the 12 months to January.
Despite the downturn, rental bills have increased in every region in the last decade with the biggest leap in the amount of rent paid by tenants being in London where the total rental bill grew by £10.53 billion over the 10-year period.
Outside of the capital tenants in the south east (£14.19 billion) and the east (£3.05 billion) saw their rental bills rise the most. Wales saw the smallest rise in the total amount of rent paid by tenants over the last decade, up £0.07 billion.
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