In the first half of 2017, rent prices fell in certain areas across the UK for the first time in nearly eight years. We've pulled together the data on historic rent changes since 2011, to show where rents fell and by how much, plus their recovery to July 2017. Regional rent changes were varied, with some areas rising where others fell. Get local perspectives from agents Northwood and Balgores as well as up-to-date yield data from ValPal. We've compiled the key information into a handy infographic - click here to download.

Kiran Patel - Manager - Northwood Harrow

Have you seen changes in rent prices in your area during the first half of 2017?

Yes, they’re dropping. A lot of people are not moving, and not a lot of people are walking in looking for properties as in the past. Before you had people coming in from Eastern Europe and looking for properties, but now it’s just the ones who are based here and not many are moving. People are basically happy with their properties and not moving as much as they were before.

Have you seen any change in tenant applications?

Less people moving in internationally, and locally. It used to be cheap to move around but now it’s quite expensive and hard.

What do you expect for the second half of 2017?

Its pretty quiet right now. We hope it won’t continue. I don't know whether the tenant fee ban will help in any way, but I don't think so, and I think it might be like this for a while now.

Howard Lester - Lettings Director - Balgores

Have you seen changes in rent prices in your area during the first half of 2017?

They have definitely stopped rising and there’s been a marginal fall. There just seems to be less tenants around, plus more property. I’ve been in this business for 25 years, and this is the closest I’ve seen to equality between properties and tenants (supply and demand) in the last 15 years in this area. The last rent decrease was around 12/13 years ago.

What do you think is behind the changes in tenant applications?

It’s almost definitely down to lower levels of immigration from Europe. It’s not only less coming in, but I think a lot of internationals have left due to the Brexit vote. They were a large part of the temporary workers and skilled workers who just aren’t coming at the moment, so that would probably be the biggest issue.

What do you expect to see for the rest of 2017?

Rents are just about holding value at the moment; some properties have been let for less than they were last year, but we’re talking marginal. Landlords who want the properties occupied with the best quality tenants are taking slightly less than last year and certainly no increases.

Craig Vile - Director - The ValPal Network

What changes in rent valuations have you seen in 2017 so far? What do you think has caused this?

Growth in the rental sector has again been strong this year, although maybe not as significant as in previous years. Our figures show that average rental values in some regions have in fact dipped slightly in recent months. We’ve found that the number of valuations has increased during August, with the market bouncing back from the summer lull quicker than usual. It’s also important to remember that ongoing Brexit negotiations and a shock general election in June will have had an impact on landlords’ plans and therefore the number of valuations requested in the early weeks of summer.

What effect have the recent buy-to-let legislation changes had on average rental yields?

It’s difficult at this early stage to determine the effect of tax changes on the market. However, our most recent data would suggest that average yields have dipped. Between June and July, we recorded average rental yield growth in just three of 14 UK regions. It’s fair to say that controversial tax changes could be partly accountable for this, but we must consider the impact of the Brexit vote, the general election and the annual summer market slowdown when analysing these figures.

What developments do you expect to see in the latter half of 2017 and into 2018?

We expect to see rental market growth – and in particular average yields – stabilise over the next few months as market activity ramps up again. The autumn months are particularly busy and so increased tenant demand is likely to have a positive effect on landlords’ yields.

Looking ahead further to 2018 – political and economic stability are crucial to maintaining a flourishing rental market. That said, the reliability of buy-to-let as an asset class and the ever-increasing popularity of private renting with younger generations means that the prospects remain very positive.

Click here to download the infographic PDF with all the information and key insights.