Four new Rent Pressure Zones designated 18 Dec 2019

Visual of a playground in a neighborhood

The RTB Rent Index shows 8.2% annual increase in national rents, but some signs of stabilisation in Dublin and Cork City

  • The Q3 2019 RTB Rent Index shows the national standardised average rent was €1,243 per month.
  • The average rent for Dublin was €1,762, up 6.6% year-on-year the lowest annual increase in Dublin since Q4 2017.
  • The average rent for Cork City was €1,192, up 1.4% year-on-year the lowest annual increase in Cork since Q3 2015.
  • Report shows an 8.2% annual increase and a 3.3% quarter-on-quarter rise in national standardised average rent driven by increased inflation outside of Dublin.
  • Based on the new Rent Pressure Zone criteria, four Local Electoral Areas are now designated as Rent Pressure Zones.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019: The  Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) has published the quarterly Rent Index, for the July-September period (Q3) of 2019. The standardised national average rent was €1,243 per month, up by about €94 from Q3 2018, and quarter-on-quarter rents grew nationally by 3.3% in Q3 2019.

The RTB Rent Index, which is compiled in conjunction with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), is the authoritative report on the Irish rental market. It is based on actual rents paid on 21,236 tenancies registered with the RTB in the quarter, which is made up of new housing stock to the rental sector, new tenancies and renewals of existing tenancies.

In Dublin, the standardised average rent is now €1,762 per month, up from €1,652 (€110) in the same quarter of 2018. This represents a 6.6% annual increase in rent. This has fallen from the annual growth rate of 9.6% in Q3 2018 and is the lowest increase seen in Dublin since Q4 2017. On a quarterly basis, the standardised average rent increased by €47 per month or 2.7% in comparison to Q2 2019. Similar trends were seen in Cork, where the standardised average rent for Cork City was €1,192, up 1.4% year-on-year the lowest annual increase in Cork City since Q3 2015. While affordability still remains an issue in Dublin, which represents about 40% of tenancies in Ireland, the fall in growth rate in Dublin and Cork is a sign that the pace of increase has fallen and may be stabilising in the areas which have been Rent Pressure Zones the longest.

Following referral from the Housing Agency and the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD, the RTB, using the Q3 2019 Rent Index, has confirmed to Minister Murphy that four Local Electoral Areas (LEAs), Baltinglass LEA (Wicklow), Piltown LEA (Kilkenny), Sligo-Strandhill LEA (Sligo) and Cobh LEA (Cork), meet the designation criteria. As a result, these LEAs will be designated Rent Pressure Zones as of today, 18th December 2019.

Commenting on the latest Rent Index Report, Rosalind Carroll, Director of the Residential Tenancies Board said; 

“We are starting to see some evidence of stabilisation in key areas such as Dublin and Cork City. The pace of rental growth in the capital has reached its lowest point since Q4 2017 and in Cork City growth is the lowest since Q3 2015. Dublin and Cork City are the longest standing RPZs, so it is encouraging to see initial signs that RPZs are having a dampening effect on rents, and we hope to see similar stabilisation occur in other areas over time.

We also expect to see some stabilisation in future quarterly reports particularly outside Dublin, as this sample reflects recent legislative changes which now require landlords of student specific accommodation to register their tenancies with the RTB. To date, we have received over 27,000 registrations for student specific accommodation.              

We have continued working with the ESRI to develop the Index to gain further insights into rental trends and the factors driving rent inflation. For example, since the last Index Report, we have included an analysis and breakdown of rent levels for both houses and apartments based on the number of bedrooms and where they’re located.”

Outside of Dublin, the standardised average rent is considerably less, standing at €947 in Q3 2019.The quarter-on-quarter growth rate was 4.6% outside of Dublin in Q3 2019 while the year-on-year growth rate increased to 9.2%, its highest rate since Q2 2016.

As of Q3 2019, there were seven counties where the standardised average rent exceeds (or equals) €1,000 per month – Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow.

While Limerick, Carlow and Kilkenny all have a standardised average rent between €900 and €999. The high rental levels in these areas relative to other counties reflect the concentration of demand close to the country’s largest employment hubs.

RTB Director, Rosalind Carroll added; 

“We recognise that affordability continues to be an issue in the rental sector with rents peaking over €1,700 in Dublin despite the increase in housing completions.

It is also important to be aware that since July 1 the RTB has increased powers to investigate and sanction breaches of rental law. To date, the RTB currently has 38 investigations in progress.

It is important that people use the new regulatory powers the RTB now has. If anyone has concerns they can contact us and call our investigations tip off line on 0818 776297 or 01 6753724, which is operational from 8:30am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday or visit”