Renting property in the North East is cheaper than it was a year ago according to the latest figures, bucking the national trend.
Specialist insurer HomeLet's Rental Index suggests that renting in the North East is now 2.3% cheaper than it was this time last year.
Average rents across the country went up by 6.3% and now stand at £862 per month.
In the North East the figure is £507 per month on average.
The Communities Minister, Eric Pickles MP, will decide whether 650 new homes planned for Wallsend, on North Tyneside, can go ahead.
The application has already been turned down by North Tyneside Council. An inquiry will begin today and is expected to conclude next week.
A letting agency based in Easington, County Durham, has been named the best in the UK by the Sunday Times. It is the first time a firm outside London has won the award. Castledene Group was founded less than six years ago. It also won awards in three other categories.
House prices in Hartlepool have risen by more than any other council area across the UK. Prices rose by 6.9%, taking the average to £76,111.
In the North East as a whole, prices fell by 1.3%, according to the figures from the Land Registry.
The North East was the only region in the UK where house prices fell over the last year, with a drop of 1.3% taking the average house price to £97,332.
By contrast, the national average house price rose by 5.3% to £170,000 in the 12 months to February, according to data from the Land Registry.
Ed Stansfield, chief property economist at Capital Economics, said the figures show the "huge divergence in price pressures across the country".
He pointed out that unlike some house price surveys, the Land Registry figures include cash buyers, rather than just people who use a mortgage to buy a property.
Cuts to housing support will put people in Newcastle at risk of losing their homes if they lose their jobs. A charity has identified Newcastle as a "worrying hotspot". Shelter analysed the impact of the Government's controversial Universal Credit reforms.
Under the current system, renters who have not claimed housing benefit in the previous year get the full cost of their rent covered for up to 13 weeks if unemployed.
Shelter warned that under Universal Credit a renter will only receive a standard amount towards their housing costs.
This research highlights the frightening reality that as support continues to be cut, losing your job is increasingly likely to mean losing your home.
"The high cost of housing, rising living costs, and job insecurity are already making it incredibly tough for families to survive. Just one thing, like an illness or redundancy, can be all it takes to tip a family on a downward spiral."
The Government said that only a "tiny percentage" of housing benefit claimants receive help from the 13-week rule, which was designed 27 years ago.
It argues that the package of Universal Credit reforms will also give people a much clearer route back into work.
"This is an outdated and poorly targeted use of public funds that helps only a tiny percentage of housing benefit claimants for a short period of time and fails to support low income workers.
"In fact, three million households will be better off under Universal Credit, with people getting their housing support paid at the rate that reflects their personal circumstances, while also benefiting from better work incentives."
House prices are rising at their highest pace since 2006 and the North East has experienced one of the biggest increases in buyer activity in the country.
The new report has just been released by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The news is being celebrated by those who are selling homes but others are still waiting to see the benefits.
Rachel Bullock reports.
House prices are rising at their fastest pace since their 2006 peak as the market revival spreads across the country.Read the full story ›
House prices are rising at their fastest pace since their 2006 peak, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The figures show the number of buyers in the North East of England is now rising faster than almost anywhere else in the country, partly because the region was hit hardest when the market crashed.