Graph showing Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 along X-axis to represent RTB/ERSI Rent Index

RTB/ESRI Q2 2020 Rent Index

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 rented housing market. The standardised average rent published on a quarterly basis covers all new registered tenancies within that quarter which are submitted to the RTB and excludes all existing registered agreements.  While trends in the standardised average rent provide an understanding of how prices are developing in the rental sector, the Report also provides an insight into the composition of the market, the type of properties rented,  the length of tenancies and other factors. While the Q1 2020 data predominantly covered the period prior to the introduction of Covid-19 emergency protection measures, the measures were in effect for the duration of Q2 2020.

The impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the rental market in Ireland will come as no surprise, rent levels falling when compared to Q1 2020,  a decline in the annual rental growth rate and a reduction in the number of tenancies registered with the RTB between the first and second quarter of 2020.

The number of tenancies registered with the RTB in Q1 2020 was 20,878, and 16,857 in Q2. This represents a 19.3 per cent decline in the number of tenancies registered between the first and second quarter of 2020 and an 11.3 per cent decline when compared to the number of tenancies registered in Q2 2019.

Dublin and the Greater Dublin Area excluding Dublin (GDA) account for just over half of all tenancy agreements; County Dublin accounted for roughly 42.3 per cent of tenancies in Q2 2020, the GDA accounted for a further 8.6 per cent with 49.1 per cent of tenancies relating to the rest of the country. The distribution has remained quite stable between 2007 and Q2 2020.

The national standardised average rent decreased by 0.6 per cent from €1,233.58 to €1,226.20 in Q2 2020. At 1.8 per cent, the year-on-year growth rate of the national standardised average rent in Q2 2020 is at its lowest level since 2012. It marks a 3.6 percentage point reduction in the annual growth rate when compared to that of Q1 2020 and a 66 per cent decline in the growth rate in a single quarter.

The standardised average rent in Dublin is €1,709 and €928 outside of Dublin. Compared to the previous quarter, rents outside Dublin increased by 0.3 per cent while they decreased by 1.5 per cent in Dublin. On an annual basis, Dublin experienced no growth while rents outside Dublin grew by 3.4 per cent. These findings are consistent with recent reports indicating an increase in people looking to move out of cities to the suburbs and more rural areas.

Since 2013 the gap between the number of new and renewal tenancies has narrowed, as renters appear more likely to remain in existing accommodation. In Q2 2020, 79.1 per cent of registered tenancies were new registrations, this marks a decrease in the share of tenancies registered as new registrations on the previous quarter.  Given the presence of Covid-19 restrictions on movement during Q2 2020, the share of renewal properties increased.

In Q2 2020, the standardised average rent for 1-bedroom apartments nationally increased by 1.4 per cent in the year to €1,160, 2-bedroom apartments was €1,290 and properties with 3 or more bedrooms was at its highest at €1,469.  When compared to the previous quarter, the standardised average rent for 1-bedroom houses was €995 a 5.9 per cent decrease, 2-bedroom houses down 0.2 per cent at €1,138 and 3-bedroom houses down 0.2 percent at €1,160.

Aside from the legislative moratoriums on evictions and rent increases, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the rental market in Ireland has manifested itself in a moderation of the annual growth rate and falling rent levels compared to Q1 2020. There has also been a notable reduction in the number of tenancies registered with the RTB.