The final quarter of 2018 marked a notable, quarter-on-quarter fall in the national standardised average rent, according to the RTB Q4 2018 Rent Index, published in association with the ESRI. National standardised average rent fell in the quarter by 0.3 per cent, marking the first quarter since Q1 2017 that the standardised average rent has fallen relative to the previous quarter. Though in the full year period to the end of 2018, standardised national average rents increased by 6.9 per cent, a slightly slower pace than the 8.6 per cent annual growth rate recorded in the previous quarter.
There were 17,830 tenancies registered in the fourth quarter. Standardised average rent for new tenancies during Q4 was €1,237 while for existing tenancies it was at €987.
Disaggregating houses and apartment standardised average rents across the country in Q4 2018 finds that average rent for houses was €1,136 per month, up from €1,066 in Q4 2017. For apartments the average rent was €1,241 in Q4 2018, up from €1,158 the previous year.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the growth rate of rental prices in Q4 2018 fell to -1.1 per cent, down from 3.4 per cent in Q3 2018. This marks the first time since Q4 2017 that house rents have fallen on a quarterly basis. The quarter-on-quarter growth rate for apartments decreased in Q4 2018 when compared to Q3 2018 to stand at 0.4 per cent.
The highest standardised average monthly rent in the country for the fourth quarter on a county-by-county basis was recorded in Dublin at €1,650, while the lowest was in Leitrim at €517. In Q4 2018, Dublin accounted for nearly 2 in every 5 tenancies registered with the RTB.
As for other cities across Ireland, outside of the capital, the second highest standardised average rents in Q4 2018 were in Cork City – €1,095 per month. The third highest, Galway City, standardised average rents stood at €1,064 for Q4 2018, and the standardised average rent in Limerick City and Waterford City for Q4 2018 stood at €929 and €682 respectively.
While the data presented for Q4 2018 shows that, nationally, rents moderated somewhat during the quarter, the results of this latest Rent Index from the RTB resulted in the Local Electoral areas of Navan and Limerick City East being designated as the latest Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) in Ireland.