The economic north/south divide has been an ongoing topic of debate for decades and the latest figures from Paragon Mortgages reveal that landlords in the northern areas of England are currently one-up on their southern counterparts when it comes to the difference in rental yields.

While property in central and outer London brought landlords returns of 5.9 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively, those with assets in the north-west enjoyed higher yields of 6.6 per cent.

Despite the appeal of the capital and the tendency of its property market to outperform the rest of the nation, it appears that investing in the city is not as profitable as doing so elsewhere.

"The rental yield figure is important for landlords as it gives a good indication of how well a property and - in a wider sense - a portfolio is performing," said John Heron, director of Paragon Mortgages.

With landlords in the north-west currently benefitting from the best returns in Britain, those who have property in the region will be moving to ensure the continued profitability of their assets.

Cheap landlord insurance policies could be of particular importance in helping to guard against the financial cost of any damage that occurs, and as such may help the north hold onto its position of dominance.

And as lenders become increasingly wary of granting mortgage deals to potential buyers, the news that one expert believes asset-rich landlords will find securing finances to expand their portfolios a relatively less difficult process could also boost investors.

Lee Grandin, director at Landlord Mortgages, said: "The rates aren't putting people off because the yields are good. It is just a case of whether they do physically have enough funds to purchase a property because the deposits are quite substantial."

This news could lead many of those who are currently involved with the lettings market to think more carefully about the best locations in which to increase their holdings, and the north may see further growth in the private rented sector as a result.