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A signed pictured on Mount Street this week.
Housing Crisis

Cost of new rents shot up at end of last year, with Co Longford hardest hit

Eoin Ó Broin said the figures show continued Government failure on housing.

THE LATEST FIGURES from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) show that rents for new tenancies continued to increase in the last quarter of 2022, with an overall national increase in price of 7.6%. 

Threshold, an organisation that supports renters, has said that it is concerned for those living outside of Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs), which saw some of the biggest increases, including Longford (18.5%), Donegal (17.1%), and Tipperary (14.1%). 

New rents are now at a statewide average of  €1507 per month, and an average of  €2063 in Dublin city. 

Longford was hit with the biggest year-on-year increase in rents at the end of 2022, as renters new to the market faced paying an average rent of €965 per month. 

In contrast, at the end of 2019, new renters in the county paid €626 on average. 

The Westport Local Electoral Area has been designated as a Rent Pressure Zone as it now meets the criteria. 

The RTB analysed 15,868 new tenancy registrations in the last quarter of 2022 to put together its index and analysis. 

It is based on new tenancies in existing properties – it doesn’t measure rents being paid by existing tenants. The RTB is a state agency but its index is based on independent analysis conducted by the ESRI. 

Sixteen counties had average rents in new tenancies above €1,000 per month, including: Carlow, Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, and Wicklow.

The lowest year-on-year growth in the cost of new rents was in Wicklow, which saw an increase of just 0.4%. 

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said that the figures show that the Government is “continuing to fail renters”. 

He added that these rent increases will “wipe out” the impact of the Government’s “poorly designed and insufficient renters tax credit. 

“Given the level of notices-to-quit currently working their way through the system, particularly since the government ended the ban on no-fault evictions, these increases will make it even harder for many renters facing eviction from securing alternative tenancies,” Ó Broin said. 

He also called for a three year ban on rent increases for existing and new tenancies, a refundable tax credit for a month’s rent to every tenant, and a “massive expansion of affordable cost-rental homes to deliver at least 4000 per year”. 

Threshold said that the hike in new rents in areas outside of Rent Pressure Zones indicates that renters in urban and nonurban areas are facing “extreme challenges in the housing crisis”. 

 The organisation said that it is unsurprising that average rent in Dublin has increased once again. 

“Year on year increases were reported in each of Ireland’s main cities, with Galway city recording the highest increase of 15.6% and Limerick city recording the lowest among Irish cities of 4.4%.

“These increases are all above the 2% yearly increase permitted in Rent Pressure Zones, showing that a greater enforcement of RPZ rules is necessary to protect renters in an already challenging financial environment.

T”In addition, the provision of a property specific rent register would provide renters with the knowledge necessary to challenge unlawful rent increases,” a spokesperson for Threshold further stated. 

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