Rent prices across England and Wales continued on their upward trend last year, with the North East seeing the biggest increase in advertised property rents.

As figures released by Move with Us show, the average rent in the region rose by £73 over the course of 2012 - more than anywhere else in the country.

Yorkshire and Humber came a close second with an increase of £68, while Greater London continued to perform well as prices jumped by £54.

The statistics mean that the North East is now the fifth most expensive region in the UK in which to rent a property, with an average monthly cost of £722.

And despite Yorkshire and the Humber seeing the second-highest rise in rent prices, it remained the cheapest location on Move with Us' list, with tenants paying an average of £629 per month.

"Generally, demand is increasing for higher quality rental properties and tenants who need to rent for longer periods due to more stringent mortgage requirements," said Robin King, director of Move with Us.

"Add to this falling house prices sapping homebuyer confidence and lower starting rents [and] in combination these factors suggest more intense upward pressure on rental prices in the North East and Yorkshire and Humber."

Unsurprisingly, Greater London remained the most expensive area of the UK in which to rent a property, with an average cost of £2,225 every calendar month - a long way ahead of the South East in second place, where it costs £1,101.

But with the capital seeing a small slide in rent prices in the fourth quarter of 2012, it seems that levels could have reached their peak for the time being.

Yet as the buy-to-let sector continues to present a strong profit opportunity, investors are expected to keep expanding their portfolios in the current climate - and landlord insurance policies can help them protect their financial position.