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Press statement: RTB Rent Index Q1 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

• MINISTER SIMON COVENEY 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, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., 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.