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File image of a row of houses in Ireland SHUTTERSTOCK
rent index report

Rents for new tenancies 18% higher than for existing tenancies, according to latest RTB report

The average difference is €240.35 or 17.7% per month.

THE LATEST RENT Index Report shows that rents for new tenancies are almost 18% higher than for existing tenancies.

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) today launched its Report for Quarter 3 of last year, covering July to September 2023.

It found that the national standardised average rent for existing tenancies of at least one year in duration was €1,357 per month.

This figure is €240 or 17.7% higher per month for new tenancies, with national standardised average rents of €1,598 per month.

Rents in new tenancies are also €158 higher when compared to Quarter 3 of 2022 (€1,440), an 11% increase.

This rate of increase is more than double the rate observed for existing tenancies, which grew by 5.2% in the year to Quarter 3 of 2023.

Regional breakdown

Close to 47,000 (46,854) existing tenancies were renewed in Q3 of last year.

Existing rents were highest in Dublin, with average rents of €1,788 per month.

Kildare takes second spot, with average rents of €1,382.

Standardised average rents in existing tenancies were lowest in Co Leitrim, on €698.

Outside of the Greater Dublin Area, which includes the surrounding counties of Meath, Kildare and Wicklow, average rents in existing tenancies in Q3 of last year stood at €1,004.

When it comes to average rents in new tenancies, Dublin is again out on top on a figure of €2,113 – 18.2% higher than average rents in existing tenancies.

However, Co Wicklow comes second this time round, with average rents in new tenancies of €1,596, just ahead of Kildare on €1,567.

Leitrim again ranks bottom in terms of cost, with average rents in new tenancies of €853.

Previously, the RTB Rent Index only included new tenancies, but this is the second report that has included information on rent levels in existing tenancies.

Rent Pressure Zone cap

Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ) are in parts of the country where rents are highest and rising, and where households have the greatest difficulty finding affordable accommodation.

Rents in a RPZ cannot be increased by more than 2% per year.

However, the Residential Tenancies Board has said that its index doesn’t measure compliance with RPZ legislation.

As a result of this, a spokesperson for the RTB said the “5.2% annual increase in rents in existing tenancies is not to be interpreted as a measure of compliance with the RPZ rules”.

“This is a national figure that is based on existing tenancies, both inside and outside RPZs,” said the spokesperson.

They added: “Year on year, the set of existing tenancy properties in the index will change as some tenancies end and others reach one year in duration and so are included.

“For this reason, it is not expected that the Existing Tenancy Rent Index could provide a measure of allowable rent increases in RPZs.”

However, the RTB’s deputy director Lucia Crimin noted that it is “responsible for ensuring there is compliance by landlords with their legal obligations including registering tenancies and setting rent amounts correctly”.

She added: “The new improved tenancy dataset is providing very important information which we are now using to identify potential non-compliance.”

‘Flagrant breaches’

Debating the report during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty said rents in existing tenancies across the country growing by 5.2% is evidence of “flagrant breaches” of rules designed to cap rates in certain urban areas.

Doherty said the RTB report showed renters are being “fleeced” in every county across Ireland.

He said rents have increased by 30% over the lifetime of the current government, stting that the report shows rents are “continuing to spiral out of control” and that many young people are choosing to emigrate for better opportunities.

Finance Minister Michael McGrath told the Dáil that the reason why rents are continuing to rise is because there is a mismatch between supply and demand. 

“But when you look at the activity rate, we are unquestionably now making very significant progress.

“There is real momentum in homebuilding across the country. 32,700 homes built last year – that was a 10% improvement on 2022 and well ahead of the Housing For All target.”

On the subject of implementing Sinn Fein’s proposed three-year rent freeze, McGrath claimed this would negatively impact the supply of new homes.

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