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Jun 12, 2014
The latest Quarterly Rent Index of the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB), covering Quarter 1 of 2014, shows that private sector rents in Dublin went up by  8.4% over the previous year (as compared with Q1 2013), with house rents rising by an average of  6.7% and apartment rents up   10.3%.

In contrast, annual growth in rents for the market outside Dublin was more subdued, recording growth of 0.8% over the year, compared to Q1 of 2013. Again the performance differed by property type. Monthly rent for houses outside Dublin increased by just 0.1%, while apartments outside Dublin experienced an increase of 2.1%.

Looking at the monetary level of rents, the average national rent for a house in Q1 2014 was €775; in Dublin, it averaged €1,227 and outside Dublin it was €637. The average apartment rent across the whole country in Q1 2014 was €830; in Dublin, it averaged €1,148, while outside Dublin it was €594.

Compiled by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), the Index showed that, for the country as a whole, including Dublin, rents in Q1 2014 were  3.5% higher than in Q1 of 2013; rents for houses were 1.6% higher, while apartment rents were  5.6% higher than in the same quarter of 2013.

Looking at the shorter quarter on quarter time-span (Q1 2014 compared with Q4 2013), monthly rent levels for the whole country were up by 0.3%. Looking at trends in more detail, monthly rents for houses were up by 0.4 per cent, while rents for apartments were 0.5% higher than in Quarter 4, 2013. 

The sub-indices show that the national increase continues to reflect the stronger Dublin rental market. Rents in Dublin grew by 0.5 per cent when compared with the fourth quarter of 2013. While rents for houses in Dublin increased by 0.8 per cent, rents for Dublin apartments rose by 0.9% quarter on quarter.

The rent indices for properties outside Dublin show rents in the first quarter of 2014, when compared with the fourth quarter of last year, were up by 0.4 per cent. Rents for houses outside Dublin recorded a quarterly increase of 0.3%. The index for apartment rents outside Dublin  increased by 0.2% in the first quarter.

In the first quarter of 2014, monthly rents for the country as a whole were close to 23% lower than their peak in late 2007, with Dublin rents down 16.4 per cent from peak. Rents for houses are 24% lower than they were in the fourth quarter of 2007. Rents for houses outside Dublin are 26.5% lower than their peak, while rents for Dublin houses are 15% lower than in late 2007.

Monthly rents for apartments are nearly 21% lower than they were in the first quarter of 2008. Apartment rents outside Dublin are 24.6% lower than their peak, while rents for Dublin apartments are 15% lower than in late 2007. Dublin apartments account for 22.8% of registrations with the PRTB.

The PRTB/ESRI Rent Index is the most accurate and authoritative rent report of its kind on the private accommodation sector in Ireland because it reflects the actual rents being paid, according to the PRTB’s records, as distinct from the asking or advertised rent, which is the basis of other rent reports.

 The PRTB website (click on “rent index”) also contains an Average Rent Dataset which enables people to check the average rent being paid for five different categories of dwelling types throughout the country, in both urban and rural areas. This enables people to check what is the actual rent being paid for, say, a semi-detached house or a two-bed apartment in their neighbourhood, and in other parts of the country.

Commenting on the Rent Index findings, the Director of the PRTB, Ms. Anne Marie Caulfield, said: “The private rented sector in this country continues to reflect a story of two very different markets. Dublin continues to show a strong year on year growth in rent levels, while in the rest of the country shows only a marginal increase over the year to the end of March this year”.

All landlords are legally obliged to register tenancies with the Board and the number of new registrations with the PRTB in Quarter 1, 2014 was just under 33,000.

The Index is of assistance for a range of Government purposes, including housing policy generally and informing the Department of Social Protection’s Rent Supplement scheme. It is also an important reference document in landlord/tenant disputes on rent.  It was developed in consultation and co-operation with landlord representative groups such as the Irish Property Owners Association,, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland, and tenant representative groups such as Threshold and USI (Union of Students in Ireland). 

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Major Study of the Private Rented Sector Being Undertaken by PRTB

Jun 12, 2014
  • How to Increase Supply and to Control Rent Movements Among Issues Being Examined
  • A study of the future of the private rented sector, including consideration of measures to achieve a greater level of rent stability, has been commissioned by the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB), which is the State body that adjudicates disputes between landlords and tenants, and registers all tenancies in the sector.

    It will assess the economic, policy and taxation treatment of the sector with a focus on measures that will increase the supply of affordable and good quality accommodation.  It will also examine the possibilities for tax reliefs for landlords and/or tenants, including indexation of rent supplement and possible incentives for landlords to rent to social rented tenants.

    This initiative follows a request from the Minister of State for Housing, Deputy Jan O’Sullivan, to the PRTB to undertake this task as a matter of urgency with a view to identifying policy options. The outcomes of the study will be a valuable input to the Government’s Social Housing Strategy, due to be published in the autumn.

    “A key objective of the report will be to advise the PRTB on how the rental sector can be sustainable into the future and can play a vital role in accommodating a wide range of households in affordable and good quality accommodation”, according to its Chief Executive, Ms. Anne Marie Caulfield.

    Given that the private rented sector has almost doubled in size between 2006 and 2011, and that about 20% of households in the State are now renting their home in this sector, the report will seek to profile tenants and landlords.

    Buy-to-let properties (particularly those in mortgage arrears), and the increasing role of the sector in the provision of state supported  accommodation (Rent Supplement and the Rental Accommodation Scheme), the social rented sector and the new Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, will also be explored in the report. The impact of changes in regulations regarding accommodation standards (including the outlawing of traditional bedsits last year) will be a further element.

    An assessment of the likely future of the sector will form part of the study and will look at best practice abroad, including how to ensure a supply of “affordable rented accommodation into the future, particularly in high demand areas”.  In this context, the operation of the private rented sector in other countries (e.g. Germany, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland, France, the UK or the US) will be examined.

    The consortium of parties undertaking the study is led by DKM Economic Consultants, and also includes the ESRI, Red C Research and Marketing, and law firm Ronan, Daly Jermyn.  A national survey of attitudes to the private rented sector (to include landlords, tenants and the general public) is also being undertaken.

    Contracts were awarded in May after a competitive tender, and the PRTB expects the study to be completed in September.  A preliminary report on potential measures to stabilise rent levels is due to be supplied to the PRTB in July.  

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