Rents up 9% in Ireland in last quarter as affordability crisis worsens

Residential rents surged by 9.2 per cent in the first three months of 2022 compared to the same period last year.

That’s according to new figures from the Residential Tenancies Board, which says the average rent in Ireland has now climbed to €1,460 per month, €46 higher than it was in the last three months of 2021.

Rents for tenancies in Dublin now average €2,015 per month, while Leitrim has the lowest standardised average rent for new tenancies, standing at €734. 

The standardised average rent for houses in Ireland was €1,447 in the first quarter of this year (a 10 per cent year-on-year rise), while the average rent for new tenancies for an apartment was €1,498 (an annual increase of 9.1 per cent).

Signalling that Ireland’s rental and affordability crisis shows no sign of abating, the increase is one of the largest quarterly rises on record – and the rise of over 9 per cent is the biggest annual percentage increase since the closing three months of 2017 when rent levels increased by 9.6 per cent.

The rental market’s watchdog’s rent index report is based on new tenancies in existing rental properties, new tenancies in properties that have not been rented in the previous two years, and new properties being let for the first time. The index is based on actual rents paid under the terms of 10,414 private tenancies newly registered with the RTB in the first quarter of 2022. 

The RTB notes that there has however been a 32 per cent decline in the number of new tenancies used in the sample size for the index, owing to a large-scale dispersal of landlords from the rental market.  

In Cork city, residential rent averages €1,453 per month, while rent in Limerick city averages  €1,273. The average cost of a tenancy in Waterford city is €1,054, while the average rent for a new tenancy in Galway city now comes in at €1,413. 

A total of 14 counties – Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, and Wicklow – have standardised average rents in new tenancies which cost more than €1,000 per month. 

Wicklow saw the lowest yearly increase in the standardised average rent for new tenancies, where rents increased by 1.3 per cent. However, the county which saw the fastest increasing standardised average rent in new tenancies was Leitrim – which reported a staggering 22.4 per cent year-on-year increase. A total of 12 counties in Ireland had a yearly growth rate in new tenancy rates exceeding 10 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

In response to the increase, some social media users said it was another indication that ‘Rip off Ireland’ is alive and well.

“Get out of Ireland before you’re broke. My rent now is 25% of my income, means you can save for a house. Impossible in #RipOffIreland,” one tweet read.

Commenting on the index, Niall Byrne, director of RTB, said: “These results are likely still indirectly impacted by Covid-19 public health measures along with constraints in supply and tenants choosing to stay longer in their existing tenancies”.

“In reading the Index, it is also important to note that these results only provide us with a snapshot into a small proportion of the private rental sector in Ireland.”

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