RTB Rent Index Q2 2021

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RTB Rent Index shows a 7% annual increase in national rent levels in Q2 2021

  • National rents in Ireland grew by 7% year-on-year in Q2 of 2021 – this growth rate is the highest since a rate of 7.4% in Q1 2019.
  • Year-on-year rent price inflation in Dublin stood at 4.4%, and outside Dublin at 10.4%.
  • The national standardised average rent stood at €1,352 in Q2 2021 – an increase of €32 compared to the previous quarter.
  • In Q2 2021 in Dublin, the standardised average rent in Dublin stood at €1,848 per month, which was significantly higher than the rent levels outside Dublin (Non-Dublin) where the standardised average rent was €1,058 per month in Q2 2021.
  • The standardised average rent in the GDA (excluding Dublin) stood at €1,397 as of Q2 2021.
  • The standardised average rent outside of the GDA in Q2 2021 was €1,007. The county with the fastest growing rents in Q2 2021 was Leitrim, at 17.3% year-on-year growth. Laois, Sligo, Wicklow, Mayo, Offaly, Kilkenny, Longford and Clare all had annualised growth above 10% in Q2 2021.
  • Dublin and the GDA accounted for over half (58%) of all tenancy agreements registered in Q2 2021.

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) has published the quarterly Rent Index for the April to June period (Q2) of 2021. This report is compiled in conjunction with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), and is the most authoritative report of its kind on the Irish rental market.

This report is based on actual rents paid on 13,884 private tenancies registered with the RTB in the quarter, compared to 16,085 in Q1 2021. The Q2 2021 Rent Index shows that nationally rents grew by 7% year-on-year in this period. This is the highest national growth rate seen since Q1 2019. During Q2 2021, the national standardised average rent stood at €1,352. This is an increase of €32 in comparison to Q1 2021.

The county with the highest standardised average rent in Q2 2021 was Dublin (€1,848 per month) and the county with the lowest monthly rents was Donegal (€677 per month). At Local Electoral Area (LEA) level, the highest standardised average rent was in Stillorgan, County Dublin (€2,440 per month), and the lowest Ballymote – Tobercurry, Co. Sligo (€645 per month).

The standardised average rent for houses stood at €1,347 per month, which is an increase of 3.4% on the previous quarter and a rise of 9.1% year-on-year. The standardised average rent for apartments stood at €1,379 per month this quarter, which is an increase of 1.9% on Q1 2021 and 5.5% year-on-year.

While price inflation was lowest in Dublin, the rent levels remained the highest in the country at €1,848 per month. For the first time, the Q2 Rent Index provides granular information on Local Authority Areas. For example, within the Dublin area the data shows that Dún Laoghaire – Rathdown had the highest standardised average rent in Q2 2021 at €2,109 per month, while Dublin City had the lowest (€1,775).

Pádraig McGoldrick, Interim Director of the RTB, commented on the latest Rent Index findings: “In Q2 2021, the Irish economy began to emerge from lockdown with a phased reopening, and people began to readjust to their living and working situations. The Q2 2021 Rent Index provides an important insight into how the rental sector is adapting to these changes. From the initial early pandemic slowdown and reduction in rent levels, rents nationally have rebounded quickly, mainly driven by activity outside of Dublin. In particular, rents are continuing to increase more rapidly along the commuter belt and more slowly in Dublin and other urban areas indicating that the pandemic has seen an immediate impact of people moving from urban areas, particularly Dublin. This may reflect an emerging trend around long-term working and lifestyle choices.

Nevertheless, there is a lot of uncertainty around the emerging trends. It must be noted that the period since the onset of the pandemic has seen the introduction and subsequent easing of restrictions in line with the public health measures. This is likely to have had an effect on the trends throughout 2020 and 2021 which may not be permanent. In addition, the latest rent levels have not been impacted by recent rent control measures restricting increases in rents to rises in inflation measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP). The RTB will continue to monitor the trends to inform policy and support emerging needs in the sector.”

Mr McGoldrick added: “While the latest rent levels will not yet have been impacted by the change in rules for rent setting introduced in July, the level of increase in Q2 2021 is a source of concern and, while there may be legitimate reasons reflecting the rate of increase, it may also indicate an unacceptable level of non-compliance by landlords with rent setting regulations restricting rent increases in Rent Pressure Zone areas (RPZ). The impact of not complying with these measures can be very severe, and the RTB is committed to ensuring increased compliance with these requirements.

Where landlords circumvent the legislation in relation to RPZ rent caps, the RTB has the power to investigate and apply sanctions, with fines of up to €15,000 and/or costs up to €15,000. As of quarter 2 2021, the RTB has commenced almost 400 investigations into improper conducts and to date almost €260,000 has been refunded to current and former tenants as a direct result of breach of rent setting rules. On the basis of a request from Minister Darragh O’Brien, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the RTB will escalate its response and introduce an accelerated and focussed campaign to identify and, where necessary, pursue those who abuse or ignore their rent setting responsibilities.”

For anyone experiencing issues in their tenancies, please visit www.rtb.ie for information on how to resolve issues and, if necessary, use the RTB’s free telephone mediation service on 0818 30 30 37. This is available to help both landlords and tenants resolve a dispute in a mutually beneficial manner and does not require people to leave their home.

If a tenant believes that a landlord has unlawfully raised the rent in their tenancy, they can make an application to the Dispute Resolution Service of the RTB. For anyone experiencing issues in their tenancies, please visit www.rtb.ie for information on how to resolve issues and, if necessary, use the RTB’s free telephone mediation service on 0818 30 30 37. This is available to help both landlords and tenants resolve a dispute in a mutually beneficial manner and does not require people to leave their home.

In order to better enforce RPZ legislation, the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 also provided the RTB with enhanced powers and resources to carry out investigations and to sanction landlords if required, for a contravention of the RPZ restrictions, amongst other improper conducts. Where landlords circumvent the legislation in relation to RPZ rent caps, the RTB has the power to investigate and apply sanctions if improper conducts are found to have occurred, ranging from a formal written caution and/or a fine of up to €15,000 and/or costs up to €15,000.

Since 1 July 2019 the RTB has analysed over 1,000 contacts from members of the public to its dedicated Investigations channels as well as data from the RTB’s own systems, open source data from rental websites and advertising platforms, and data shared with the RTB from local authorities, to identify potential breaches of rental law that can be investigated.

To the end of quarter 2 2021 almost 400 investigations were approved. The most common allegation investigated to date is breach of Rent Pressure Zone requirements. Over 80 decisions have been made by the independent decision makers. All sanctions must be confirmed by the Circuit Court and once confirmed, the Court Order is issued to the landlord and to date almost €260,000 has been refunded to current and former tenants as a direct result of the investigation process.

The RTB will be publishing the particulars of sanctions confirmed by the Circuit Court on the RTB website. To date 29 cases have been confirmed; the highest sanction to date was €3,000 (comprising €1,500 fine and €1,500 costs).

Please see the full Q2 2021 RTB Rent Index Report and supporting infographics here.

For more information please contact: Pearse Corcoran, Carr Communications pearse@carrcommunications.ie