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News

Department of Housing Review of Rent Predictability Measure

Jun 15, 2017

Introduction

On foot of a commitment made by Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, to review the Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) measure, the Rental Market and AHB Regulation Section of the Department is carrying out a review to examine the operation of the measure to date and put forward options, if and where appropriate, for amendments to the measure. 

The Review will be carried out by the Department in conjunction with the key participants in the RPZ designation process, namely the Housing Agency and the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).  Input from interested parties on these matters is welcomed and this focused consultation paper has been prepared to inform and assist in gathering these views.  

Consultation Process

This consultation will be open for submissions from the public and interested parties from 15 June to 30 June, 2017. Any submissions received after this date may not be considered. The consultation document can be viewed here or on the Department of Housing website http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/private-rented-housing/rent-predictability/public-consultation-review-rent-predictability

 The preferred means of response is by email to: rentalstrategy@housing.gov.ie -  please ensure that “Review of Rent Predictability Measure” is stated in the subject line.

Alternatively, you may respond by post to:

Rental Market & AHB Regulation Section

Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government

Newtown Road

Wexford

Y35 AP90

When responding, please indicate if you are a landlord (individual or corporate), tenant, representative body or member of the public. 

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Latest Data from RTB Quarterly Rent Index

Jun 15, 2017

⦁ NATIONALLY PRIVATE SECTOR RENTS GREW BY 7.37% IN THE YEAR FROM QUARTER 1 2016 TO QUARTER 1 2017

⦁ QUARTER ON QUARTER GROWTH APPEARS TO BE MODERATING WITH AN INCREASE OF LESS THAN 0.1% (DOWN FROM 2.8% IN THE LAST INDEX)

⦁ OVERALL, RENTS IN DUBLIN DECLINED THIS QUARTER BY 1.5%

⦁ NO ADDITIONAL LOCAL ELECTORAL AREAS MEET CRITERIA FOR RENT PRESSURE ZONE DESIGNATION

⦁ DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING LAUNCHES PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE REVIEW OF THE RENT PRESSURE ZONES


Private sector rents continued to grow in the first quarter of 2017, increasing by 7.37%, according to the latest Quarterly Rent Index from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) over the year from Quarter 1 2016 to Quarter 1 2017.


The Index shows that while rents continue to trend upwards, quarter on quarter growth was relatively flat, increasing by 0.1%. This is down from 2.8% the previous quarter. The standardised average national rent is now €987 per month, which is up €1 on Quarter 4 2016.


Trends in private sector rents in Dublin and outside Dublin appear to be mixed once again, illustrating the diversity of the rental market across the country.


Rents in Dublin and surrounding commuter counties are amongst the highest relative to the national average, with parts of Cork and Galway cities also above the average.


However, overall, rents in Dublin declined this quarter by 1.5%, driven primarily by a fall in rents for Dublin apartments. Private rents for houses continued to rise in this quarter albeit marginally, by 0.1%. For apartments, there is evidence of a moderate slowdown in the pace of expansion; year on year growth dropped from double digits down to 7.9%. On an annual basis across houses and apartments, rents continued to grow, increasing by 7.37% from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, with Dublin rents now at 8% above their previous peak in Q4 2007.


Outside Dublin, rents for houses and apartments continued to grow on a quarterly basis, resulting in an overall growth of 1.3% in private sector rents. Annual growth increased by 7.6%, a trend, which is observed for houses and apartments, which increased over the year by 7.5% and 7.2% respectively. Rents are still 8% below their peak levels in 2007, however, the margin between the two is shrinking each quarter.


Commenting on the findings of the report, the Director of the RTB, Ms. Rosalind Carroll, said: “This Index relates to the January to March period of 2017, and therefore is the first rent index looking at the period since rent pressure zones were first introduced. The rent Index will be an important tool to monitor the impacts of the new measure. The findings for the first quarter do suggest that the rate of increase in private rents is moderating. However, the rental market is still volatile and it is too early to determine if this moderation is a trend. We would like to see similar findings over consecutive quarters in order to identify trends.”


Based on the rental data of this latest Rent Index, no additional parts of the country meet the criteria to be designated as Rent Pressure Zones. There are currently 19 RPZs in the State including the four Dublin Local Authorities and Cork City.


The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, today (15 June, 2017) has announced the launch of a public consultation on the review of the Rent Predictability Measure and the system of Rent Pressure Zones introduced in December last. Submissions received from the consultation process will feed into the review of the measure, which is currently underway. The RTB would strongly encourage landlords and tenants to make a submission and to have your views heard on the impact of the measure to date. Further details and access to the consultation document is available on the Department’s website at www.housing.gov.ie and can be accessed on www.rtb.ie.


This data contained in the latest Rent Index Report of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), is produced in conjunction with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). The index is the most accurate and authoritative rent report of its kind on the private accommodation sector in Ireland because it is based on the actual rents being paid for the 23,866 new tenancies registered with the RTB during that quarter.


The Rent Index now comprises two sets of rental indicators for the Irish market. The main one is compiled on the basis of rents registered with the RTB for each Local Electoral Area (LEA) throughout the country. This was introduced last quarter and allows for more granular analysis of the rents data for the country.



Private Rental Market by Numbers


Location

Dublin was still the largest rental market in Q1 2017, accounting for around 38% of the total. Compared to Q4, 2016, the share of rental properties in Dublin fell marginally by around 0.3%. In 2007 Q3, when rents were at their peak, this was closer to 41%.


Property Size and type


The data indicates that 2 and 3 bed properties are still the most common on the market and this trend has been broadly consistent over time. Together, 2 and 3 beds make up around 69% of the market. Nationally, apartments continue to remain the most common property type, accounting for 42% of the total. The second and third most common property types are semi-detached and terraced houses, accounting for 25% and 15% of the total.


Rents and House prices


Both the CSO property price index and the RTB rent index for Dublin and Outside Dublin increased in the first quarter of 2017. House price growth nationally picked up again in the first quarter of the year and now outpaces rent growth. In Dublin, house price growth between Q4 2016 and Q1 2017 was 1.8% compared to an increase of 0.1% for rents in Dublin.


Distribution of rents

On a quarterly basis, the underlying trends have remained relatively stable over the last number of years. The most striking pattern over the last 4 years has been the general rise in rent costs; 23% of the total stock of rented properties now cost €300+ per week. This compares to only 9 per cent back in 2013 Q3.



 About the Residential Tenancies Board and the Rent Index report


The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) is a public body set up to support and develop a well-functioning rental housing sector. Our role is to:

⦁ provide information to inform policy on the sector;

⦁ maintain a national register of tenancies;

⦁ resolve disputes between landlords and tenants cheaply and speedily;

⦁ provide information to the public.


The work of the RTB can be divided into three main areas:


REGISTRATION

All private residential landlords and Approved Housing Bodies, who are not for profit housing providers, often referred to as Housing Associations, are obliged to register their tenancies with the RTB. By the end of Q1, 2017, there were 337,306 tenancies registered with the RTB and it has a public register of tenancies available on its website (www.rtb.ie). The registration of tenancies enables the RTB to collect important data on the sector, but is also a key part of regulating the sector and ensuring landlords and tenants are aware of their rights and responsibilities.


DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Since 2004, the RTB has replaced the courts in dealing with the majority of disputes between landlords and tenants through its Dispute Resolution Service. This service offers a choice of resolution types to parties, mediation or adjudication. By the end of Q1, 2017, the RTB had received 1,803 applications for dispute resolution.


INFORMATION

The RTB provides high quality information and advice to the public, tenants and landlords on rights and obligations in terms of both living and providing accommodation in the rental sector. The RTB also provides high quality data on the rental sector, such as the Rent Index, which allows it to monitor trends in the rental sector, but also allows individuals to check and compare rents in particular locations. The RTB continuously strives to improve and develop its services so that its customers are supported in registering with the RTB, resolving disputes, and accessing information.

 

RENT PRESSURE ZONES


Under the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016, parts of the country where rents are highest, and rising, can be designated as Rent Pressure Zones (“RPZ”), and private rents are capped. The framework for deciding an RPZ is a Local Electoral Area (there are 137 in the State), and the qualifying criteria are:

⦁ if the annual rate of rent inflation in the area has been 7% or more in four of the last six quarters, and,

⦁ the average rent for tenancies registered with the RTB in the previous quarter is above the average national rent in that quarter,

that LEA is designated as a Rent Pressure Zone. That means that rents can only be increased by a maximum of 4% annually.


There are now a total of 19 RPZs, incorporating 45 LEAs in the country, including the four Dublin Local Authorities (Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire/ Rathdown County Council and Fingal County Council), and Cork City Council. The others are Cobh, Maynooth, Ballincollig – Carrigaline, Galway City Central, Galway City East, Galway City West, Celbridge – Leixlip, Naas, Kildare – Newbridge, Ashbourne, Laytown – Bettystown, Rathoath, Bray and Wicklow Town.

It is estimated that 57% of private tenancies in the country are now in RPZs.

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