Advertised rents in Britain's biggest city centres saw annual falls of more than 12% at the end of 2020.

Inner London was been hardest hit, with average asking rents falling annually by 12.4% - equivalent to £275 a month - followed by Edinburgh city centre, where the drop in asking rents was also in double digits at 10% (£112), and Manchester city centre, where they were down by 5.3% (£54), according to Rightmove.

The study looked specifically at the centres of 10 of the biggest cities around Britain.

But not everywhere saw rents slide, with advertised rents in Bristol and Liverpool rising.

Saturday night in Soho during lockdown is a lot less fun
Saturday night in Soho during lockdown is a lot less fun

Marc von Grundherr, director of London estate agent Benham and Reeves, said: "With Covid-19 continuing to pose a problem on an ongoing basis, many tenants simply aren't committing to the high cost of renting in central London.

"This has been largely driven by the fact that many can now work remotely but this isn't the only reason.

"Living in central London is as much about the social aspect, as it is about the convenient commute and, at present, the vast majority of the capital remains closed for business.

"As a result, demand has fallen dramatically, causing rental stock to flood the market. This excess level of stock means that landlords are being forced to accept dramatically lower levels of rent just to avoid lengthy void periods between tenancies."

Clean air, nice walks and cheap rents can be found in the countryside
Clean air, nice walks and cheap rents can be found in the countryside

In all of the cities there has been a shift upwards in the number of tenants who currently live in a city inquiring about properties outside that city, Rightmove said, as the popularity of a quieter life and more space driven by lockdown continues.

And on a national basis there has even been a rise in rents of 3.7% or £35.

Rightmove's director of property data, Tim Bannister, said: "The price premium that many tenants are usually willing to pay to have the vibrancy of a city centre on their doorstep has been tempered for now.

"This brings a challenge for some landlords but also an opportunity for tenants who may be able to make a longer term decision and move into a city centre now, perhaps on a two-year tenancy agreement, at a more attractive rent than this time last year."

Here's how average asking rental prices in the UK's biggest cities have changed in the past year:

  • Inner London - £2,219 a month - down £27
  • Edinburgh - £1,124 a month - down £112
  • Manchester, £1,022 a month - down £54
  • Birmingham, £883 a month - down £41
  • Leeds, £811 a month - down £36
  • Glasgow, £894 a month - down £22
  • Nottingham, £921 a month - down £2
  • Newcastle £915 a month - down £2
  • Liverpool £801 a month - up £16
  • Bristol, £1,271 a month - up £25