Landbay chief executive John Goodall says he expects rental price growth to accelerate this year.
His observation comes after it was revealed that rents rose by 0.56 per cent last year, that is according to Landbay's latest rental price index.
Rent prices were hiked more substantially in many so-called commuter "hot spots" in the South East, the research uncovered.
As a result of the information gathered, Landbay believes there are now signs that desire from long-distance commuters to the capital for cheap accommodation is pushing up rents in some commuter towns. Meanwhile, rents in London fell by 0.8 per cent during 2017.
Mr Goodall explained: “Commuters have seen their season ticket prices rise by more than £100 this week, and the vast majority are also looking at a double whammy of rent rises driven by greater tenant demand.
“Without a radical house building plan for purchase as well as purpose-built rental properties, rental price growth is expected to accelerate this year.”
Some 31 out of 40 most routes popular with commuters witnessed rents increase by more than the average nationally. Buy-to-let properties in 17 out 40 of these towns saw rent hikes that will be costlier, in monetary terms, than the recent much-publicised hike in annual rail fares.
In these areas, rents have risen by £183 on average – the equivalent to1.68 per cent. The biggest increases have been in Cambridge and Brighton, which have both seen average rents have increased by £228 (2.06 per cent) and £202 (1.58 per cent) respectively.
Season tickets prices in these towns have increased by £172 and £163 respectively.
Further, there are six town in the commuter belt of the capital that saw rents go up by more than one per cent – which is twice the average nationally. This included Luton, Hastings, Basingstoke, Ashford, Canterbury and Horsham.
That said, not all hotspots for buy-to-let accommodation in the South East have seen a rise in rents. And average rents in Guildford, Reigate and Woking fell during 2017, by an average of 0.73 per cent.