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Rapid rises in the cost of renting have already peaked, according to property portal Zoopla, although tenants will still have to pay more next year.

Its latest report into the rental sector suggests rent on new lets was 9.7% higher in October compared with a year earlier, averaging £1,201 a month.

Although still a big increase, the rise in costs has cooled, with Zoopla predicting the slowdown will continue.

It expects a more "balanced" market in 2024 will help tenants.

Rents across the UK have been rising sharply - with the average cost of a new let going up by 31%, or £3,360 a year, over the last three years, the Zoopla data shows.

High demand has driven the increase, while supply has narrowed with some private landlords selling up.

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said the strength of the jobs market, a rebound after Covid, immigration and high mortgage rates facing potential first-time buyers had combined to increase demand from tenants.

Many people have downsized or been caught up in bidding wars. Some families, data suggests, have been more likely to rent smaller homes in recent years.

According to the 2021 census, four in 10 people who rent through a private landlord or agency are in two-bedroom homes.

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