New figures suggest it is now 69 per cent more expensive to rent a home in Greater London, the South East and South West than around the rest of the UK. In January 2008 the difference was 37 per cent.
The report from HomeLet also shows that rents are an average 2.4 per cent higher than the same time last year.
"A lack of affordable housing stock in the south could be one of the drivers for the growing divide we’re seeing," said Gary Abraham, HomeLet’s Sales and Marketing Director."The private rented sector is becoming a much longer term housing solution for many. We’re seeing a combination of increased average tenant ages, increased income and previous tenancy length."
Its figures indicated that the average age of a tenant rose during the past 12 months and is now 34, while the average income of tenants in the UK increased by 5 per cent to £28,500 and tenancy lengths increased by 6 per cent to reach an average of just over 21 months.
A second report from Move with Us estimates that the average rent in Britain will top £1,000 in 2014.
Compared to January 2013, rents in Great Britain have increased by an average of £16 (1.63 per cent) - the average advertised rent is now £987 per month, on track to hit the £1,000 mark this year.
Rents in Greater London rose to £2,221 per month in January and are almost double those in the second highest performing region, the South East, (£1,138). In January 2014, average rents were £679 per month in Wales and £695 in the North East.
Robin King, Director of Move with Us said: "London continues to operate in its own bubble and asking rents are on the rise again following declines. It is likely that the current increase in average asking rents is a sign of further increases to come as the population growth in Greater London carries on.
"Although increasing rental prices in most regions in Britain is great news for landlords, it’s not such good news for prospective tenants. Anyone looking to rent will be able to secure a more affordable rental price by acting sooner rather than later as rental prices look set to rise in the coming months."