The RTB/ESRI Report produced by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) provides rental indicators (the Rent Index) generated to track price developments in the Irish market.
The report was produced prior to the emergency period that has been brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the full impact on the rental sector has not yet been realised.
The year-on-year growth rate of the national standardised average rent was 6.4 per cent in Q4 2019. Compared to Q3 2019, the national standardised average rent fell from €1,241 to €1,226 in Q4 2019.
The RTB confirms that the standardised average national rent for houses stood at €1,187 in Q4 2019 which was an increase of €75 compared to Q4 2018. The standardised average rent for apartments also increased over this period, up by €71 to €1,283 in Q4 2019. On a quarterly basis, the standardised national rent for houses decreased by 2.3 per cent compared to Q3 2019. The quarterly growth rate for apartments was 0.3 per cent in Q4 2019, down 1.3 percentage points from the growth rate in the previous quarter. On a year-on-year basis, rents for houses increased by 6.7 per cent in Q4 2019, 1.7 percentage points lower than the annual growth rate in Q3 2019. Apartment rent prices increased by 5.9 per cent in Q4 2019 over the same period which represents an increase of 0.5 percentage points relative to Q3 2019.
Most of the renters concentrate in the large population centres near jobs, education and amenities, price pressures are greatest in these areas. As Dublin accounts for the largest share of economic activity and employment, in Q4 2019, 41.9 per cent of total tenancies that were registered were registered in Dublin. With 9.6 per cent of tenancies agreed at less than €1,000 per month compared to two thirds elsewhere, this shows acute price pressures of the rental market in the capital. The standardised average rent for Dublin stood at €1,716, up from €1,634 in the same quarter the previous year. This represents a 5 per cent annual increase in rent in the capital.
The counties outside the GDA show the standardised average rent stood at €872 in Q4 2019, up from €809 the previous year. The Index for the rest of the country stood at 114 in Q4 2019, a decrease of 2 index points in comparison to Q3 2019. Rent outside the GDA in Q4 2019 was 2.2 per cent lower than the previous quarter. On a year-on-year basis, rents outside the GDA were up by 7.8 per cent.
In recent years, several factors have put considerable pressure on rental prices. First, excess demand and credit access together with affordability issues in the owner-occupier housing market have led to a large number of households remaining in the rental sector. Secondly ongoing supply shortages both for rent and sale are a factor in continued rent price growth despite the construction industry seeing a rapid recovery.
A significant increase in the number of properties available for sale and rent, is necessary, to temper the rapid and continued growth in rent prices.